Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a provider of Industrial Automation and Test and Measurement solutions, announced the collaboration with Cisco Systems Inc. to deliver Shell’s SecurePlant initiative at Shell.
SecurePlant is a security management solution for plant control systems that was jointly developed as an initiative between Cisco, Yokogawa, and Shell. The three companies have agreed to proceed over the next three years with the implementation of SecurePlant at around 50 Shell plants globally.
Yokogawa explained that industrial producers around the world face a wide range of operational challenges in areas such as cybersecurity that pose a pervasive threat to safety and availability. Most companies with global operations, however, still take a relatively simplistic plant-by-plant approach, such as implementing operating system security patches and anti-virus pattern file updates. As a result, security levels tend to vary at each plant.
In the general practice of control system security management, individual control system vendors extensively validate security patches and anti-virus pattern files to confirm that they do not interfere with system operation, and then report the results to their customers for implementation. Since plants tend to use a variety of control systems and equipment from different vendors, occasionally with multi-generation platforms from a single vendor, this process is often complicated. For this reason, plants increasingly have the need for plant-wide integrated services that take a more holistic and efficient approach to the management of system security, Yokogawa says.
With the aim of standardizing security practices at Shell plants around the world and minimizing control system vulnerability, Yokogawa and Cisco collaborated on the design of the SecurePlant service and will jointly provide deployment and operational services.
The SecurePlant solution is designed as a standard solution that consists of the delivery of OS patches and anti-virus pattern files for control systems and the provision of real time and proactive monitoring of solution delivery, as well as a help desk operation to manage this solution.
Supplier-certified Windows security patches and virus signature files are distributed from a SecureCenter to the SecureSite at each plant via Shell’s existing global network. The real-time and proactive monitoring capabilities enable the centralized management of plant security. A customer help desk operated jointly by Yokogawa and Cisco is available 24/7/365 to manage solution-related incidents.
Moving forward, Yokogawa and Cisco say they will continue to offer security solutions involving the deployment, operation, and monitoring of control system environments. In addition, both companies say they intend to develop deep Industrial Automation (IA) solutions such as remote system maintenance, remote plant asset management and Big Data on the top of a secure remote access platform with the intention of helping companies in making faster decisions, reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and achieving operational excellence.