ABB joins cybersecurity alliance for operational technology

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Monday, 28 October, 2019


ABB joins cybersecurity alliance for operational technology

ABB has joined a new alliance to provide a technical and organisational framework for safe and secure operational technology (OT). The Operational Technology Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA) aims to bridge dangerous gaps in security for OT and critical infrastructures and industrial control systems (ICS) to support and improve the daily lives of citizens and workers in an evolving world. Check Point Software, BlackBerry Cylance, Forescout, Fortinet, Microsoft, Mocana, NCC Group, Qualys, SCADAFence, Splunk and Wärtsilä have partnered with ABB to establish the OTCSA.

“With complete 360° cybersecurity data protection capabilities, ABB understands the critical importance of cybersecurity in systems and solutions for infrastructure and industry,” said Satish Gannu, Chief Security Officer, ABB and Senior Vice President Architecture and Analytics, ABB Ability. “We are confident the OTCSA will deliver a framework for much-needed solutions, at a time when industrial customers live in a world of increasingly sophisticated threats, putting organisations at risk of potentially catastrophic losses.”

The OTCSA mission is fivefold:

  • Strengthen the cyber-physical risk posture of OT environments and interfaces for OT/IT interconnectivity
  • Guide OT operators on how to protect their OT infrastructure based on a risk management process and reference architectures that are demonstrably compliant with regulations and international standards such as IEC 62443
  • Guide OT suppliers on secure OT system architectures, relevant interfaces and security functionalities
  • Support the procurement, development, installation, operation, maintenance and implementation of safer, more secure critical infrastructure
  • Shorten the time to adoption of safer, more secure critical infrastructures
     

With 60% of organisations using an ICS indicating that they experienced a breach in their systems in the past year, and 97% acknowledging security challenges because of the convergence of IT and OT, the need for the OTCSA is critical, according to ABB. Cyber attacks on OT and critical infrastructures are on the rise and they are impacting operations and representing a business risk across all industries — from disrupting manufacturing processes and utility systems to halting safety systems. Threats to OT can have potential impacts in scope and scale greater than in information-only environments, including loss of life, ecological damage and negative financial impact.

“Critical infrastructures and industrial control systems are essential to organisation revenue and profits, and the global economy,” said Gannu. “Industry collaboration to establish architectural, implementation and process guidelines is required to quickly advance the security posture of OT, which is already a decade behind IT when it comes to security.”

Until now, there has been no industry group focused on improving cyber risk posture by providing tangible architectural, implementation and process guidelines to OT operators and IT/OT solution providers so that they can navigate necessary changes, upgrades and integrations to evolving industry standards and regulations. The alliance expects these robust security guidelines will cover the entire life cycle — procurement, development, deployment, installation, operation, maintenance and decommission — and address aspects related to people, process and technology.

OTCSA promotes collaboration amongst leading IT and OT companies, thought leaders in the cybersecurity community, and vendors and OT operators from a variety of industries. Membership is open to any company that operates critical infrastructure or general OT systems to run its business (OT operators) as well as companies providing IT and OT solutions (solution providers).

To learn more about the OTCSA or becoming a member, visit www.otcsalliance.org.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Olivier Le Moal

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