Monday 28 September 2015

Cybersecurity health check!

Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation, responsible for Yokogawa’s control business in Japan, has received an order from Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. to provide a network health check service that analyses and verifies the integrity of the data traffic on the control system communications buses at its Mizushima Works. An industry first (based on a September 28, 2015 Yokogawa survey) this cyber security service for control systems combines network visualisation technology with the collection and analysis of data traffic.

As the threat of cyber-attacks has increased in recent years, there is an urgent need for strong security measures with control systems, particularly those used in critically important infrastructure such as electric power, gas, and petrochemical plants. With the increasing sophistication of such attacks, it is often no longer sufficient to rely solely on general security measures such as the use of antivirus software. Yokogawa’s network health check service is able to visualise the status of communications traffic on a network after periodically collecting and analysing log data. When data traffic from an unknown IP address, communication via an unspecified protocol or port, data loss, or some other potential hazard is detected, Yokogawa will then work with the customer to identify possible causes and propose any necessary improvements. Unlike conventional services that rely on the monitoring and analysis of vast amounts of control system communications traffic,

Yokogawa’s service is able to quickly and intuitively visualise and grasp the status of the control system’s communications traffic so that quick action can be taken in response to any potential issue. The company jointly developed this visualisation technology with Yasuo Okabe, a professor at Kyoto University; Hiroki Takakura, formerly an associate professor at Kyoto University and currently a professor at the National Institute of Informatics; and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

Yokogawa develops and provides its customers with a variety of highly secure device and system solutions, and is also engaged in the provision of ongoing operational support services. The company will continue to assist its customers through the provision of control system cyber security solutions.

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