Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has opened its new Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab to advance its development and testing of new technologies and software to defend industrial facilities and operations, such as refineries and manufacturing plants, from cyber attacks.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), reported cyber incidents on industrial targets in 2014 continued to increase and are up more than 25 percent since 2011. ICS-CERT’s latest report also said that in 40 percent of incidents that were reported, experts did not know how hackers intruded the system because of a lack of detection and monitoring capabilities. Similar concerns were reflected in a global survey on cyber security conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in September 2014 on behalf of Honeywell. In that survey, more than 75 percent of respondents from 10 countries said they were fearful that cyber criminals could disrupt major sectors of the economy, and identified the oil and gas, chemicals and power industries as particularly vulnerable.

For more than a decade, Honeywell has developed and provided proprietary cyber protection software and technology for its process automation solutions, including Experion process controls, which the company says are used at hundreds of industrial sites such as refineries, chemical plants, gas processing units, power plants, mines and mills around the world. During that time, the Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security group has delivered more than 1,000 industrial cyber security projects globally.

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“We have a successful history of providing cyber defense solutions for our industrial customers and this new cyber lab expands our capabilities,” said Jeff Zindel, global business leader for Cyber Security, HPS, in a press release. “We will be able to validate new solutions faster in a variety of scenarios and increase our customers’ defenses against the growing threat of cyber attacks.”

The new Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab, located in Duluth, Georgia, includes a model of a complete process control network that Honeywell cybersecurity experts will leverage for proprietary research, hands-on training, and to develop, test and certify industrial cyber security solutions. This lab will help accelerate development time of new cyber protection technologies and speed availability to customers, according to the press release.

In addition to its new lab, Honeywell’s Industrial Cyber Security group has also added a number of cybersecurity experts to its development and business teams.

“Many of our customers have come to us looking for cybersecurity solutions to defend their industrial facilities, operations and people from damage, disruption and misuse,” said Zindel. “They understand the very real threat that is out there, and they want to be more proactive in guarding against it. Honeywell is building on its leading industrial cyber security expertise and experience with this new research and development lab as well as adding highly regarded cyber security experts around the globe to support our customers’ growing needs.”

For more information about Honeywell’s industrial cyber security solutions, visit BeCyberSecure.com.