Yokogawa partners with McAfee for ICS security

05 February 2013

Yokogawa Electric Corporation and McAfee have signed a partnership agreement to offer holistic and value-added IT security solutions for industrial automation applications.

In particular, they hope to collaborate to offer Yokogawa’s customers seamless solutions to avoid gaps between different IT systems, across proprietary solutions and expanded communication channels and running common operating systems and applications.

According to McAfee’s recent threats report, cybercrime, ‘hacktivism’ and cyber-warfare are on the rise, and are growing ever more sophisticated. Industrial control system (ICS) users and suppliers must be increasingly vigilant against intrusions, as human safety and environmental impacts are directly at stake.

While today’s process control systems can take advantage of advanced general-purpose IT to reduce costs, improve performance, enable interoperability with APC, MES and other systems, and add other important new capabilities, the same technologies have made ICSs increasingly vulnerable to security intrusions – malicious or otherwise – from both within and outside the plant.

Organisations tasked with running critical infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines, chemical plants, power stations, and water treatment facilities must look at holistic security systems across two disparate, yet interconnected zones: enterprise IT and industrial control systems.

McAfee solutions provide resilience, efficient compliance measures, and real-time intelligence for changing threat environments, along with the power of real-time visibility and centralised management through a single platform. Combined with Yokogawa’s domain knowledge this will provide a more holistic approach, resulting in the provision of more value-added industrial automation solutions.

This partnership addresses the issue that industrial process control systems typically have a three to five times longer lifecycle than typical commercial systems. Since both system technology and cyberthreats are ever-changing, automation system suppliers must embrace a life-cycle approach to industrial cyber-security.

“Security measures for control systems are indispensable. Yokogawa is continually making stringent efforts to provide our customers optimum with control system security solutions, starting with the development of highly secure instruments and systems and extending to the provision of operational support services,” said Nobuaki Konishi, vice president of Yokogawa’s IA Systems Business Division (IA Platform Business Headquarters). “This partnership will allow us to combine our technology and plant security knowhow with McAfee’s technology to enhance the security of our products and our line-up of security solution services covering the entire lifecycle of our customers’ plants. This will include the integration of anti-virus software with industrial control systems used in the process industries”.

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