“What are all those IP addresses and what are they doing on my network?”

If you’re an executive leader at a typical industrial company, you probably don’t have an OT security team, and you certainly don’t want to hear the quote above from your operations team. And yet, that’s a real quote after we demoed OpShield, Wurldtech’s security solution for operational technology (OT). We heard similar responses as we provided companies with visibility into what was happening across their OT network.

The reality is, more and more companies are realizing the enormous potential of the Industrial Internet. Gartner expects roughly 1.8 billion connected devices in enterprises in 2015. That number is expected to skyrocket to over 7 billion connected devices in businesses by 2020.

These increased connections are creating essential business visibility while at the same time increasing threats to attack and exposing vulnerabilities. News reports show a growing number of malicious actors focusing attention on critical infrastructure. Even if you believe you manage an operation without any Internet connections, threats and vulnerabilities still exist within your operation. All it takes is an uninformed or poorly trained employee or contractor to expose the operation to disruption.

These attacks—malicious or not—can lead to unplanned downtime, and put operational safety and asset availability at risk.

The cost of downtime—not to mention the even higher cost associated with loss of damage to the environment, to people or reputation—can be staggering. For example, in oil and gas GE estimates that for each week an offshore oil well is not operating due to unplanned downtime, there is a revenue loss of USD $7 million a week, or $364 million a year. That’s just one well.

Sadly, too few companies are prepared to protect against unplanned downtime due to OT cyber security attacks.

The Wurldtech Approach

Enter OpShield, Wurldtech’s security solution to protect industrial companies from cyber threats and vulnerabilities found in operational environments.

OpShield provides defense-in-depth for embedded systems and industrial assets connected to SCADA, distributed control systems (DCS), and safety systems that communicate in multi-vendor, complex environments.

In addition to OT network visibility, OpShield also enforces OT policy at the protocol command level, and it can address vulnerabilities in real-time without taking systems offline.

Those are all really compelling features with tremendous business benefits.

But to me, this statement from a VP of engineering conveys the real benefit of OpShield best:

“We can’t believe how painless that was.”

So if you want to ensure operational safety and keep assets running, check out OpShield.

 

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About the author

GE Digital

Driving Digital Transformation

GE Digital connects streams of machine data to powerful analytics and people, providing industrial companies with valuable insights to manage assets and operations more efficiently. World-class talent and software capabilities help drive digital industrial transformation for big gains in productivity, availability and longevity. We do this by leveraging Predix, our cloud-based operating system, purpose built for the unique needs of industry.

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