ABB has announced the expansion of its cyber security task force to help tackle the threat to UK industrial sites that depend on automation.
A growing number of incidents in Britain and across the world has increased demand for a level of expertise that most companies lack, in order to combat the economic and safety threats.
Ben Dickinson, team leader of ABB UK cyber security, commented: “The task of securing industrial control systems from cyber-attacks brings its own challenges. A cyber breach on a chemical plant for example could see the attacker take control of valves, thereby putting lives at risk.
“Malicious cyber-attacks are not just about stopping something from working, they’re also about causing the maximum disruption possible. In many sectors there are known criminal factions keen to cause problems that could result in serious consequences.”
He added that approximately 70% of global companies in all sectors had suffered an attack in the past year. Fewer than 50% had employed intrusion detection systems to alert against incidents.
Cyber-attacks are not just about stopping something from working, they’re also about causing the maximum disruption possible
Ben Dickinson, team leader, ABB UK cyber security
Dickinson said the company would offer advice on adding layers of defence across plants, “minimising risk and offering multiple barriers to a would-be attack”.
ABB UK’s task force now includes 20 specialist roles. Staff and consultants will provide cross-sector advice for assessment, detection and protection.
Added Dickinson: “The UK Health and Safety Executive has issued operational guidance which sets out a minimum baseline which operators must implement with regards to managing cyber security from a safety perspective.
“This calls for a cyber security management system to be put in place to assess health and safety risk from a cyber perspective and ensures that protective processes are put in place, controls are documented, and risks are mitigated as much as possible.”