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Page updated Nov 1, 2015
Is the ISA relevant today?
Several times in the last few months, I have been asked
about the relevance of the ISA today. My standard answer used to be something
like “If not the ISA, then what?” That always came out a little odd and felt
like a negative even though it was meant to be a positive. I have changed my
answer, and I would like to let you know why.
On a recent business trip overseas, I had the opportunity to
talk about ISA84 and ISA62443 (ISA99) in length. The president of our business
had the opportunity to talk about TR84.00.07 to a room full of eager engineers.
We were overwhelmed with questions and sincere interest both at the booth and after
the presentation. This is not the way it usually goes in the USA. In fact, most
people tend to yawn a little when we discuss the importance of robust safety
systems and industrial control systems cyber security. So what was different?
Well, for starters, we were in Ningbo, China and we were
almost the only western people in the entire city. After the novelty wore off
and everyone took our picture and practiced their English, the real interest
started to surface. People came to talk to us that were responsible for
operating processes safely in China. They had a sincere interest in what we
knew and they had read the ISA standards and technical reports in detail. In
fact, some of them had deep knowledge of the contents of these documents.
I had a similar experience with our friends in the U.A.E.
earlier this year. During an industrial cyber security conversation, one of the
engineers realized that one person in our conversation was one of the authors
on a ISA document. You would have thought the guy just met a rock star.
These opportunities provide a window to see the real value
of the ISA and how it can be an agent for change in every region of the world.
Even if the ISA standard is not considered the local operating standard, it has
value and is read and understood with the intent to prevent problems. The ISA
actually affects people we never meet and we should all recognize the value our
organization provides to the engineers trying to build and operate equipment
all over the world.
If you have never served the ISA in a capacity other than
member, I would like to encourage you take that step and consider sharing your
knowledge and experience with your peers. We can use your help in our division. Division members are encouraged to write content to share ideas, best
practices, and findings with the entire division of peers. Additionally, the
ISA provides standards, training courses, publications (almost 200 books
including the industrial cybersecurity one I bought just last week),
certifications and certificates (both for safety and cybersecurity), and
conferences. These activities benefit the entire industry, not just our
members. Members receive additional benefits including discounts on events and
purchases of ISA products. The extensive articles and information available on
our division web site are only available to ISA division members. Last, please
consider encouraging our peers worldwide in their similar endeavors.
So, today I will answer the question by stating that “the
ISA is a leading provider of knowledge and standards from engineering peers
focused on operating their facilities safely and securely."
Jim McGlone, GICSP
ISA Safety & Security
Abnormal Condition ManagementFeb 2015 Mar 2013
Alarm ManagementApril 2013Jan 2013Aug 2012
BMSJuly 2014Jan 2013Aug 2012
EPCJan 2015April 2013
Fire & GasApril 2015 Mar 2014Jan 2013
Field DevicesMar 2015Mar 2014
NuclearDec 2014 April 2013Jan 2013Oct 2012
PipelineSept 2014 Nov 2012
SISJuly 2014Oct 2013Feb 2013Oct 2012
SoftwareDec 2014Mar 2014June 2013Mar 2013
Tank FarmsNov 2014 Nov 2012Sept 2012Aug 2012
WirelessAug 2014April 2013