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Industry Perspectives

11.01.2012  | 

Key industry officials answer a poll question from HydrocarbonProcessing.com

Keywords: [cyber security] [Internet] [malware] [virus] [cyber attacks]

Has your HPI company addressed cyber security at its operating facilities?

  “ARC Advisory Group believes that the poll results reflect a reasonably accurate picture of the current degree of cyber-security preparedness in HPI plants. Our research indicates that most HPI plants lean heavily on their automation suppliers, who—for the most part—have beefed up their cyber-security-related services and developed dedicated global centers of excellence. However, as the survey results also indicate, end users in HPI plants also look to the US Computer Emergency Readiness Teams (CERT) and other government entities to come up with specific guidelines that help fill in the inevitable cyber-security gaps.”

—Peter Reynolds, ARC Advisory Group Senior Consultant, ARC Advisory Group


  “In my opinion, security suffers from an identity crisis. Security as it pertains to preventing live hacks or attacks is only a fraction of the concern in running electronic networks. While external ‘bad actors’ looking to break in and disrupt/steal/shut down our networks and systems are always a concern, the real challenge is to manage our electronic assets in such a way as to protect the safe, reliable, expected operation of the facilities we run. Any threats, from inadvertent virus outbreaks to faulty hardware/software to nation state attacks, are all a risk and need to be protected against. Security also needs to become ingrained in our culture the same way safety has become second nature to manufacturers. In other words, the notion of security needs to be ‘baked into’ every decision, action and purchase we make from HR to procurement to administration to operators, IT, engineers and so on. It is our collective responsibility—not limited to technology or corporate IT.

The future of better security lies in the management of existing security tools and techniques. The technology exists to protect ourselves better than we have been. What is missing is the people, the time and the motivation.”

—Rick Kaun, Global Business Manager, Industrial IT Solutions, Honeywell Process Solutions 


  “HPI companies in North America should continue to review and understand national standards already being applied and enforced in other industries, particularly standards being developed by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) and their Critical Infrastructure Protection programs for the power industry. We believe these will eventually become enforced standards for the hydrocarbon processing industry as well. For refiners, it’s a good time to look at their systems, their culture and their suppliers to understand new risks and what they need to do to overcome them.”

—Chris Lyden, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Invensys Operations Management


“Cyber security and cyber threats are an ever-more complicated challenge for HPI companies, even as their equipment and workforce continue to age. As these companies seek to strengthen and modernize their cyber-security systems, they need to take a holistic view of their business requirements. Technology solutions implemented through the control system, intrusion prevention, firewall and other technology are important, but comprehensive cyber protection frequently involves changing the company culture so that individual operators and other personnel are identifying vulnerabilities and then relying on standards-compliant solutions to mitigate risks.”

—Dr. Martin Turk, Global Director, HPI solutions, Invensys Operations Management


“Cybersecurity is critical to protecting refineries and petrochemical facilities, and we have taken tremendous steps to ensure our systems are safe against the increasing amounts of cyber threats facing our facilities. Our businesses have developed their own standards, technologies, controls, strategies and processes, as well as work with external sources to manage cyber-security threats.”

—Dan Strachan, Director, Industrial Relations and Programs, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)


“Cyber security solutions are most effective when the supplier and user share responsibility. Users should seek a vendor who not only helps them implement various degrees of control network protection and fully manage their security functionality 24/7, but one that actively works with government entities, like the DOE Energy Roadmap, industry-specific programs, like NERC, Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), and other standards bodies, such as the International Society of Automation (ISA,) to develop new standards. This level of involvement allows the vendor to validate and adopt advanced cyber-security techniques and solutions that keep the user more secure, but more importantly, more vigilant.”

—Doug Clifton, Director, Critical Infrastructure and Security Practice, Invensys Operations Management


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