IT in Manufacturing


Meeting cybersecurity challenges in a connected world

September 2018 IT in Manufacturing

As business embraces the digital revolution through new technologies, such as cloud computing and the IoT, barriers are broken down to allow for growth and advancement. However, this opening up of platforms and increase in interconnected systems makes it easier for cyber criminals to enter and attack systems.

The necessity for a comprehensive security strategy is now acknowledged as an integral part of standard operational risk management, particularly in such industries as oil and gas, electrical power plants, water and other key sectors. The disruption of operational systems can have a far-reaching and potentially catastrophic impact, but special skills are needed to fortify defences, while keeping plants running smoothly.

A 2015 survey by Ernst & Young revealed that 88% of respondents do not believe their information security fully meets the organisation’s needs and that 57% say the lack of skilled resources is challenging information security’s contribution and value to the organisation.

Managing cybersecurity

As a global technology solutions leader, Schneider Electric has vast industrial experience working with both Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). This experience enables it to collaborate with IT departments and third-party security solutions providers to develop precise and effective cybersecurity solutions that secure systems without hampering operational efficiency.

Managing cybersecurity requires experts to be well versed with foundational knowledge of the systems they are working to protect. Having worked closely with clients to help plan and set up many of these control systems, Schneider Electric’s cybersecurity team has gained deep knowledge and insight into what it takes to protect the safety, reliability and confidentiality of these OT systems.

Their familiarity with the system architecture enables quicker identification of security risks and implementation of more targeted solutions, thus preventing wastage and plant downtime. It combines cybersecurity expertise with technical and consulting knowhow in a ‘defence in depth’ strategy to prevent or minimise cyber-attacks. This multi-pronged defence system adheres to IEC 62443 standards, and involves the creation of a multi-layered and multi-technology strategy to safeguard critical systems. This strategy is an implementation tool and a holistic security approach, which safeguards but also assesses, manages and monitors systems with the help of Schneider Electric’s Portfolio Life Cycle Methodology.

The cybersecurity team will assess, design, implement, monitor and maintain cybersecurity systems and train customer teams in security practices and a security culture that leads to quick threat response and business continuity.

For more information contact Prisca Mashanda, Schneider Electric SA, +27 11 254 6400, prisca.mashanda@schneider-electric.com, www.schneider-electric.co.za


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