ISA to hold special meeting of pharmaceutical industry executives on protecting facilities and operational infrastructure from industrial cyberattack

  • March 28, 2017
  • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

The International Society of Automation (ISA) announces today it will be holding an invitation-only meeting of top pharmaceutical industry executives on 16 May 2017 to assess industrial cybersecurity challenges facing this automation industry sector and to examine strategies for solving them.

The meeting event, "Pharmaceutical Cybersecurity Convocation: A Critical Executive Dialogue," will be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Convention Center in Framingham (Boston area), Massachusetts, in conjunction with ISA's Food & Pharmaceutical Industries Division (FPID) Symposium.

According to Pat Gouhin, ISA Executive Director & CEO: "In this strategic conversation, we hope to educate each other to the concerns regarding threats and risk mitigation, and identify corporate challenges toward an ongoing interactive network. The dialogue will aim to focus on the collective interests/challenges of the industry as a whole, and what can be done to ensure a safe, secure, efficient and productive sector, as it relates to the future of automation and its impact on business for years to come."

ISA has been at the vanguard of global initiatives to protect industrial automation and control systems (IACS) from potentially catastrophic industrial cyberattack through the development of its ISA99 (ISA/IEC 62443) series of IACS security standards. 

Regarded as the world's only consensus-based series of industrial security standards, ISA/IEC 62443 protects IACS through a lifecycle that integrates design, implementation, monitoring and continuous improvement.

As a flexible framework for addressing IACS security weaknesses across all key industry sectors, the ISA/IEC 62443 series are integral components of the US government's current and future plans to combat industrial cyberattack.

"Pharmaceutical Cybersecurity Convocation: A Critical Executive Dialogue" 

The preliminary agenda, outlined below, features industrial cybersecurity experts and leaders from ISA as well as from government and industry groups.

Welcome Introduction
Steve Pflantz, 2017 ISA President

Executive Overview
Patrick J. Gouhin, ISA Executive Director & CEO

Issues of National Security
Adam Sedgewick (invited), National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

IACS and ISA/IEC 62443 standards
Eric Cosman, ISA Executive Board & Co-Chair, ISA99 Committee

Open Architecture
Dennis Brandl and Jim Hietela (invited), The Open Group

Critical Challenges: A Panel Discussion
Moderator: Pat Gouhin, ISA Executive Director & CEO
Panelists include:
Eric Cosman, ISA Executive Board & Co-Chair, ISA99 Committee
Dennis Brandl, The Open Group
Doug Wylie (invited), SANS Institute
Andy Chatcha (invited), ARC Advisory Group

Closing & Continuing the Conversation
Bill Joss, ISA Senior Business Development Manager

ISA's Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division (FPID) Symposium 

Sponsored by ISA's Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division, the FPID Symposium attracts professionals within the automation and control field and the pharmaceutical and food industries to explore solutions to automation challenges in food processing and drug manufacture and distribution.

The symposium will be held Tuesday, 16 May and Wednesday, 17 May 2017 in Framingham, Massachusetts.

About ISA

The International Society of Automation ( is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 40,000 members and 400,000 customers around the world.

ISA owns, a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (, an association of non-profit organizations serving as "The Voice of Automation." Through a wholly owned subsidiary, ISA bridges the gap between standards and their implementation with the ISA Security Compliance Institute ( and the ISA Wireless Compliance Institute (