Emerson Expands Cyber Security Solutions and Services for Users of its Ovation® Expert Control System | Automation.com

Emerson Expands Cyber Security Solutions and Services for Users of its Ovation® Expert Control System

December 012004
Enhanced capabilities help power generators meet NERC 1300 Cyber Security Standard

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 30, 2004) — Today at POWER-GEN International 2004, Emerson Process Management announced it has expanded its comprehensive offering of cyber security solutions and services for users of the company’s Ovation® expert control system. Ovation is a key technology that powers Emerson’s PlantWeb® digital plant architecture to optimize reliability, performance and environmental compliance for power generation customers.

Emerson’s expanded security offerings will not only enable power industry customers to proactively address cyber security issues, but will also help them meet the requirements of pending security standards, such as NERC 1300, a standard put forth by the North American Electric Reliability Council requiring the identification and protection of critical cyber assets related to the reliable operation of bulk electric systems. NERC 1300 builds on the concepts and requirements found in the Cyber Security Standard 1200 by expanding the scope to include process control and SCADA assets critical to grid reliability.

“Security has always been a concern, but it has taken on a whole new level of significance in light of world events,” said Steve Schilling, vice president, product development for Emerson’s Power & Water Solutions division.

“While physical security – fences, guards and security procedures, for example, have been an important industry focus, efforts pertaining to system hacking, and data integrity and verification are now taking on an increased urgency,” explained Schilling, who points out that Emerson is a member of the NERC Cyber Security Standard Drafting Team. “We have also been working with our customers to test and validate new features to ensure they meet their real-world security needs,” he continued.

“The enhanced features, functions and services Emerson is offering will help our customers take additional proactive measures to minimize the risk of unauthorized use of their control systems, ultimately making their power plants more reliable as well as secure,” said Schilling. “Addressing these issues now positions our customers to address the impending release of new legislation and secure their operations in the event of a cyber attack.”

Emerson is adding features to Ovation that address various aspects of cyber security, according to Schilling. For example, Emerson is addressing security considerations for data exchange by incorporating measures such as machine authentication and data encryption for the secure transfer of information over common data links, as well as developing recommendations (standards) for exchanging data at the network level. Other areas of focus include more stringent password management, workstation hardening (removal of unnecessary functions) and disabling non-essential activities on key workstations, and streamlining and formalizing the tedious job of developing user permissions.

“We understand that security is just one of many demands our customers face, and so one of our primary goals in developing new security solutions is to take complex issues and make them easy to manage,” said Schilling. “We want to make it easier for our customers to be secure than not.”

Enhancements to Ovation are just part of Emerson’s on-going commitment to providing comprehensive security solutions. An Ovation System Security Assessment module has also been developed as part of the company’s SureServiceSM customer support program. SureService security assessments are designed to help customers identify, collect and document key system parameters relating to Ovation system security. Security assessments include a thorough inventory and characterization of current system hardware and software, a review of current system configuration for cyber vulnerabilities, and identification of the “electronic security perimeter” as defined in NERC 1300, including all access points to the perimeter.

The ability for Emerson customers to easily keep pace with ever-changing security issues is possible because Ovation is designed to take advantage of proven and widely adopted computing and networking technologies, standards and protocols. This strategy enables customers to benefit from new technologies while retaining the investment in their control systems. It also allows Emerson to devote its resources to what’s important to its power industry customers – developing value-added applications and solutions that translate into operational flexibility, improved reliability, increased operating efficiencies, the ability to meet operations and maintenance budgets, and maintain environmental and regulatory compliance.

“Security is of utmost importance to our customers. We take this very seriously and will continue to arm them with the product and service enhancements they need to operate their plants securely and reliably, both today and tomorrow,” said Schilling. “Furthermore, we will continue to leverage the open aspects of Ovation, which enable us to utilize innovative technologies as they become available, so that we can help our customers respond to new security challenges.”

About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management (www.emersonprocess.com),an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the power, water and wastewater treatment, chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and other industries.

Emerson's Power & Water Solutions division (www.emersonprocess-powerwater.com) is a global supplier of advanced distributed process control and information systems. The Pittsburgh-based company is a recognized leader in developing plant-wide process control solutions for the power generation, water treatment and wastewater treatment industries. Power & Water Solutions plays a key role in the Emerson mission of combining superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Emerson brands include: PlantWeb®; Ovation®; SmartProcess®; Fisher®; MicroMotion®; Rosemount®; Daniel®; DeltaV™; and AMS™ Suite.

About Emerson
St. Louis-based Emerson (www.gotoemerson.com) is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions to customers in process control; electronics and telecommunications; industrial automation; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; and appliance and tools. Sales in fiscal 2004 were $15.6 billion.

Did you Enjoy this Article?

Check out our free e-newsletters
to read more great articles.

Subscribe Now
Back to top
Posted in:
Related Portals: