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SAFETY & INTEGRATION Make cyber security part of digital transformation

Nov 27, 2018

…Ritwij Kulkarni, Business Head—Life Cycle Services, Honeywell Automation India, in this interview with Suchi Adhikari, shares his insights on the growing concern of cyber security threats and the solutions available in the market in order to handle these threats effectively. Excerpts…

IIoT is an enabler of digital transformation in industries. What are the latest technologies being offered from Honeywell Automation that enable businesses to reshape themselves?

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is an enabler of digital transformation in industries and can unlock the untapped potential of industrial plants. The Honeywell Connected Plant (HCP) suite is one such transformative solution that enables manufacturers to turn data into actionable insight by seamlessly integrating process, assets and people to improve the efficiency and profitability of their operations. These solutions cater to energy, manufacturing, infrastructure and other industries. We also bring the process domain knowledge to create a digital twin in the cloud by using analytics of data and monitoring of systems to head off problems before they even occur.

In recent years, cyber security threats have become a growing concern for the industrial automation sector. How are you addressing these challenges?

We offer a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that is enabling the industry to deal with cyber threats. We have the largest industrial cyber security research capabilities. Two examples of launches from 2017 are Enterprise Risk Manager, the industry’s first solution to proactively measure, monitor and manage industrial cyber security risks, and Secure Media Exchange (SMX), which protects plants against threats from removable media, such as, USB flash drives. Honeywell’s acquisition of Nextnine, a privately held provider of security management solutions for industrial cyber security, has further enhanced our existing range of innovative cyber security technologies.

There is a growing concern over the secure transmission and storage of data. What is your outlook on this, and how do you think the overall industry is addressing this challenge?

The cloud is the biggest disruptive influence that IT has witnessed in the last several years. Today, the user can store data on the server and retrieve it anytime from anywhere. Cloud data centres are built to provide support in the event of failure in hardware and software. They are designed to consider all aspects of hardware. The host data centres have online backup systems to maintain uptime and they specialise on data security. Data resiliency and privacy are other key components that are of higher priority. Hence, cyber security is designed into the cloud.

In terms of long term success, how is the industry capturing the value of industrial cyber security to achieve their business objectives?

It is estimated that cyber risks cost the global economy up to $400 billion a year. Our survey shows that industrial companies are still not moving quickly enough to adopt cyber security measures to protect their data and operations. The study suggests making industrial cyber security part of digital transformation strategies, driving best practice adoption across people, processes and technology as well as focusing on empowering leaders as immediate actions to ensure the effective and long-term deployment of strategies and technologies, such as, IIoT.

What are your company’s future plans for the Indian market in the short and long term?

India continues to be a high impact region for Honeywell – our goal in the short and long term is to further strengthen our position as the leader in IIoT. We are transforming from an industrial player to a software-industrial player with a primary focus on enhancing the customer experience. Our major investments in new industrial cyber security technologies and services will further strengthen our ability to secure and protect industrial assets, operations and people. We have invested in creating nine cyber security Centres of Excellence (COE) globally, which are designed for proprietary cyber security research and development, test and certification, training and collaboration.

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