ARC: Shell Collaborates on Security

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 @ 01:02 PM gHale

Security is not a one person, or one company, endeavor. For a successful deployment, there needs to be a total team effort. That is just what oil giant Shell was looking for when it teamed with Yokogawa and Cisco Systems to deliver the SecurePlant initiative.

SecurePlant is a security management solution for plant control systems jointly developed as an initiative between Cisco, Yokogawa and Shell, officials said at the ARC Advisory Group’s ARC Industry Forum 2015 in Orlando, FL, last week. The three companies agreed to proceed over the next three years with the implementation of SecurePlant at 50 Shell plants globally.

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Security remains a top challenge for companies across the world and that also provides a threat to safety and availability. Most companies with global operations, for the most part still take a plant-by-plant approach, such as implementing operating system security patches and anti-virus pattern file updates. As a result, security levels tend to vary at each plant.

In the general practice of control system security management, individual control system vendors validate security patches and anti-virus pattern files to confirm they do not interfere with system operation, and then report the results to their customers for implementation. Since plants tend to use a variety of control systems and equipment from different vendors, occasionally with multi-generation platforms from a single vendor, this process becomes complicated. For this reason, plants increasingly have the need for plant-wide integrated services that take a more holistic and efficient approach to the management of system security.

The goal of the SecurePlant plan is the standardize security at Shell plants around the world and minimize control system vulnerability, Yokogawa and Cisco collaborated on the design of the SecurePlant service and will jointly provide deployment and operational services.

The SecurePlant solution is designed as a standard solution that consists of the delivery of OS patches and anti-virus pattern files for control systems and the provision of real time and proactive monitoring of solution delivery, as well as a help desk operation to manage this solution.

Supplier-certified Windows security patches and virus signature files are distributed from a SecureCenter to the SecureSite at each plant via Shell’s existing global network. The real time and proactive monitoring capabilities enable the centralized management of plant security.

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