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Offshore oil and gas exploration

Kepware® are participating in oil
& gas cyber security research project

Kepware® Technologies, a PTC business developing industrial connectivity software, has announced its participation in the latest research report commissioned by the Linking Oil & Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity (LOGIIC) programme. The Real-Time Data Transfer Project (RTDT) report highlights vital factors that should be considered when implementing an RTDT solution in the oil and gas sector.

Security in energy markets is especially critical given the volatile nature of assets and the world's reliance on energy - making oil and gas one of the biggest targets for cyber security attacks. The LOGIIC programme was established to address these concerns and to facilitate cooperative research, development, testing and evaluation procedures to improve cyber security in petroleum industry digital control systems. It is an ongoing collaboration of oil and natural gas companies and the US Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate.

Dave Hammond, Product Manager at M.A.C. Solutions, the Preferred Distributor for Kepware® in the United Kingdom and an Authorised Reseller in France, commented: "Over the last 2 years, we've seen manufacturers paying increasing attention to cyber security, for both their assets and their data. In the past, most manufacturers have considered that assets located on their own sites, on their own networks and behind their own firewalls, were safe and secure. However, with the recent exponential rise in cyber security threats, Internet-based intrusions, data breaches and sophisticated network-aware viruses, this view is no longer valid."

Brian Peterson, acting LOGIIC Secretary with the Automation Federation, LOGIIC's host organisation stated: "We are committed to improving the level of cyber security in critical systems of interest to the oil and natural gas sector. This is increasingly challenging given the influx of connected devices and amounts of data that organisations are managing today."

Since RTDT technologies transfer real time data outside of core industrial automation and control system (IACS) environments, they must meet rigorous standards to ensure the protection of core IACS assets, data, and operational stability. The RTDT report found that solutions employing third party components (such as OPC clients, firewalls, and databases) require security at all layers. Like encryption, the OPC implementation is particularly critical to ensure the secure movement of data.

"By testing third party technologies, our most recent report helps to assure asset owners that all components in the supply chain are configured, patched, and implemented according to the original vendor's security recommendations--allowing asset owners to worry less about security and focus on business operations," added Peterson.

The Kepware® OPC tunnelling solution, which was tested for the report, leverages the OPC Unified Architecture (UA) open standard. It uses a client-server architecture for secure and reliable real-time data tunnelling through firewalls and across the Internet, WAN, or LAN. Eliminating the reliance on Microsoft COM and DCOM technology allows for easy remote communications between devices, data sources, and applications.

"At Kepware®, we continuously test our technology and strive to release products that are secure, which is why we gladly accepted the invitation to participate in the LOGIIC study," said Stephen Sponseller, Business Director, Oil and Gas, Kepware®. "Nothing can replace the value of a third party evaluation from a regarded organisation, especially one as focused and experienced as LOGIIC. This report provides insights that will empower engineers in the energy market looking to implement RTDT solutions in a secure and effective manner."

For more information, please visit www.mac-solutions.net or www.kepware.com or telephone MAC Solutions on 01527 529774 or email sales@mac-solutions.co.uk

Kepware® in profile
Kepware® Technologies is a software development business of PTC Inc., headquartered in Portland, Maine. Kepware® provides a portfolio of software solutions to help businesses connect diverse automation devices and software applications and enable the Industrial Internet of Things. From plant floor to wellsite to wind farm, Kepware® serves a wide range of customers in a variety of vertical markets including Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Building Automation, Power & Utilities, and more. Established in 1995 and now distributed in more than 100 countries, Kepware's software solutions help thousands of businesses improve operations and decision-making.

For further information, view website: www.kepware.com

MAC Solutions in profile
Founded in 1996, MAC Solutions hardware and software solutions enable operators in the transportation, surveillance, infrastructure and automation industries to connect and manage distributed assets. The company specialises in helping customers select and source appropriate systems to help leverage their production machine and process data from existing plant control and automation systems, up to enterprise business level systems. With more than 16 years' experience in the industry, MAC Solutions offers a range of industrial Ethernet 'open connectivity' solutions, as well as version control software, industrial Ethernet switches, web visualisation tools, alarm management software, connectivity devices for Siemens' PLCs, Ethernet-enabled OPC servers, industrial HMIs and PCs. MAC Solutions' clients include utility companies, food and beverage manufacturers, power generation, breweries, oil and gas, automotive, water treatment, wind farms, paper and print, electronics and pharmaceuticals.

For further information, view website: www.mac-solutions.co.uk 
Refer to page 738

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