Page updated Jan 6, 2015

    Director's Message

    I am honored to serve as the director and participate in the ISA Safety and Security Division. I look forward to increasing awareness and participation in the division. With all of your help, we will work on increasing technical content through papers, online presentations, recorded webinars, and blogs on our landing site.  We will also explore providing some social media technical content to attract people to the ISA and our division.

    Why Safety and Security

    I have spoken with many professionals in safety roles and security roles; most of them wonder why they have been thrown together as a single ISA Division. I live this marriage everyday in my professional role. I believe that good safety must consider that the network will be hacked or malfunction. Likewise, good security must consider the process and how to protect it if the network is compromised. Something as simple as an over speed switch or pressure relief value, can prevent a compromised control network from harming people, the process or machine, and the environment.  

    Hackers Are Not Interested  

    At some control and process conferences, no one speaks about cyber security. But, at more and more security and hacking conferences (yes they have hacking conferences) they are discussing embedded controllers, networked building automation controllers, the Internet of Things, PLCs and the processes they control. Hackers know what SCADA, HMI, and PLCs are and the good hackers are fearful that the control industry is not paying enough attention to the problem.

    I recently watched an online presentation about how to hack a chemical process plant. While I question the ethics of presenting this information on the Internet, at the same time we must recognize that anything connected to a wired or wireless network is vulnerable. As we implement functions like remote connectivity, business reporting, and utilize wireless communications, we must assume that they will be compromised at some point. If you are interested, click here. 

    Safety Is Important

    As an ex-nuclear power plant operator, I completely agree that safety is very important and we need more of it in some cases. For instance, there are places that fall under facility management and NFPA that should have better standards and best practices. For instance, mechanical rooms, auxiliaries, or boiler rooms are often neglected and can be just as dangerous to people, processes, and the environment.


    Our challenge will be to find a balance between the two areas with a little overlap. While we work on a way to maximize the safety or security content on the division landing page, papers, blogs and our conference, we will provide a little overlap to increase awareness.  

    We want to embrace social media and bring attention to the excellent work of the ISA while attracting people to our division for strong thought leadership and technical content.

    Hopefully Paul and Mike can keep me pointed in the right direction while the rest of leadership challenges us all with their professional expertise and insight.

    I look forward to working with all of you and welcome ideas, feedback and content.

    Thank you, 
    Jim McGlone
    Director, ISA Safety and Security Division