Kepware announces participation in oil & gas cybersecurity 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cyber security threats, Internet-based intrusions, data breaches and sophisticated network-aware viruses, this view is no longer valid.”

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.

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.

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