Computer security for industrial automationWhile modern process control systems can take advantage of advanced general-purpose IT to reduce costs, improve performance, enable interoperability and add new capabilities, the very same technologies have made industrial control systems increasingly vulnerable to security intrusions ― malicious or otherwise ― from within and outside the plant. Organizations running critical infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines, chemical plants and power stations must look at security systems across two disparate yet interconnected zones: enterprise IT and industrial control systems.

To help industrial processors address industrial control cyber threats, Yokogawa Electric Corp. and McAfee have inked a partnership to offer holistic and value-added IT security solutions for industrial automation.

The partnership focuses on handling digital threats to industrial control systems. In particular, the partners will collaborate to offer Yokogawa’s customers seamless solutions to avoid gaps between different IT systems across proprietary solutions; expanded communication channels (e. g. IP, wireless and mobile); and common operating systems and applications. This partnership addresses the issue that industrial process control systems typically have a three to five times longer lifecycle than typical commercial systems.

“This partnership will allow us to combine our technology and plant security know-how with McAfee’s technology to enhance the security of our products and our lineup 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,” says Nobuaki Konishi, Vice President of Yokogawa’s IA Systems Business Division.