Building a Cyber Ecosystem to Realize First-of-A-Kind Monitoring

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 9:32 am EDT

By:

Leo Simonovich, Vice President and Global Head, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security

 

  • One year ago, Siemens launched a comprehensive cybersecurity solution focused on operational technology (OT) in the energy sector
  • Monitoring is at the core of Siemens’ holistic OT cyber solution
  • With Darktrace, PAS Global and Tenable, Siemens now offers the only native OT cyber monitoring solution in the industry

The growing cyber threat to the operational technology (OT) environment, the global energy industry’s traditional focus on informational technology (IT) over OT, and the potentially devastating impact of an attack all led Siemens to conclude that OT is where our energy customers are at greatest risk and in greatest need of our help.

Our increasingly digital and connected world continues to create greater opportunity and heightened cyber exposure. Indeed, the pace of cyberattacks against critical infrastructure is escalating – from Stuxnet in 2010, to Shamoon in 2012, to the crippling Ukrainian grid attack in 2015, to Wanna Cry, Petya and non-Petya in 2017, to Triton last year.

Siemens became particularly concerned with the growing incidence of cyberattacks in the energy sector, where the potential consequences are especially catastrophic. That is why, one year ago, we launched an effort to build a comprehensive OT cyber solution to protect our energy customers along their full cyber journey.

Siemens put monitoring at the core of our holistic OT cyber solution. Why? Indeed, in today’s increasingly connected environment, monitoring has become a business requirement for any organization. A transparent operating environment is essential to be safe, and visibility is key. And with most of our energy customers lacking this monitoring capability in-house, we wanted to fill in this gap, thereby enabling them to keep focus on their core mission – securing the energy supply and reliable power.

It is in this spirit that we set out to create our own mini-ecosystem, grounded in a culture of trust that could thrive with the ups and downs of an emerging market, where customers know they have a problem but do not know how to address it. We reached out to cutting-edge technology companies. We painted a vision of a global energy sector with the strongest possible OT cyber defenses. Overcoming the “not made here” syndrome is never easy for a company the size of Siemens. Success would require breaking through this cultural mindset.

This due diligence in finding the right partners required patience and trial and error. We built a team of smaller, niche industry players who understood the importance of blurring our respective corporate borders and innovating together. We had a shared passion to build up our customers’ capability for unparalleled detection and contextualization. An unswerving focus on the long-term was as important in our teammate selection as was their cutting-edge solutions. 

The culmination of these efforts is the only native OT cyber monitoring solution in the industry, powered by our partners’ best-in-class technologies and tools and integrated into our own platform that:

  • Provides our customers with actionable intelligence so they can quickly identify and neutralize cyber threats. With Darktrace’s Industrial Immune System and Siemens’ extensive domain OT security expertise, customers can enhance their agility in detecting and responding to cyberattacks.
  • Ensures accurate, up-to-date visibility of system inventory. Companies cannot secure what they cannot see. The way our partner PAS Global collects its asset information is unique in the market, providing a much richer and deeper view into assets. Our partnership with PAS is singularly positioned to enhance fleet-wide visibility essential to detecting attacks and anomalies when they hit.
  • Secures and protects our customers’ most critical assets. The Siemens partnership with Tenable, the Cyber Exposure company, helps energy companies know clearly where they are at greatest risk and where their OT assets may be most vulnerable.

One year ago, we set out to build a best-in-class ecosystem whose members were grounded in both technical excellence and a shared mission to help the energy sector get to their cyber prevention problem quicker and, when necessary, recover from it sooner. But we know this is not the final word. The OT cyber threat is evolving. Continued investment in the right cyber solutions is the only course that will keep us all safe.

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