TechHub: The U.S. Cyber Crisis, Industrial Cyber Security & More News

Q&A: Mitigating Cyber Risk in Manufacturing Digital Transformation


The 2018 Industry 4.0 ThinkTank kicked off the year for industrial transformation in Chicago, bringing together manufacturers and provocative thinkers, industry leaders and experts.

Couldn’t make it to Chicago? No problem.

GrayMatter’s Cyber Practice Lead Scott Christensen brought back his insights to share an exclusive, all-access look at mitigating OT cyber risk in this Q&A after serving as a panel member.

Q: What was the best success story you have?

The best one I have is a conversation with a manufacturer who said they’re going to re-architect their systems and how they’re going to go about cyber OT.

Typically, when it comes to OT cyber strategy, it’s a battle of kingdoms between IT teams and production teams. No one is sure who owns cyber in the production world, creating a lack of convergence on what the best methodology is for going forward in cyber security.

Want to learn more? Take a look at the GrayMatter Cyber Security Guide for Operational Technology.

The manufacturer’s new way of going forward would involve a team made of both cyber IT security experts and production members, such as plant managers, operational engineers or the COO.

This brings the barriers down of who has ownership of cyber production within the network, creating a team that can work together to mitigate risks.

Take advantage of Scott’s insights — check out the rest of the Q&A.

Cyber Security Named Biggest U.S. Threat at Senate Intelligence Committee

The top intelligence agencies in the U.S. have pushed aside terrorism as the top national security threat. The thing to take its place? Cyber security.

The leaders of those agencies testified before the Senate Intelligent Committee this week during its annual “Worldwide Threats” hearing, according to CNet.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that cyber security is his “greatest concern” and “top priority,” in his opening statement. This puts it ahead of threats like terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

This declaration comes after a long year of industrial cyber attacks like WannaCry ransomware, where critical infrastructures and industrial companies were put at risk around the world.

Sen. Richard Burr, the committee’s chairman, directed questions regarding cyber security and protecting critical US infrastructure, from computers to energy supply, at NSA Director Michael Rogers.

cyber security

Sens. Richard Burr (center) and Mark Warner (left) are worried about cybersecurity. Source: Alex Wong / Getty Images

“Cyber is clearly the most challenging threat vector this country faces,” Burr said. “It’s also one of the most concerning, given how many aspects of our daily lives can be disrupted by a well-planned, well-executed cyber attack.

Not sure if your operational technology is locked down? Get some advice from our cyber expert.

Rogers responded by discussing issues surrounding IoT devices, and the need for secure settings, to prevent major cyber attacks.

“If you think the problem is challenging now, just wait. It’s going to get much, much worse,” Rogers said.

The Center of Industry 4.0

One in five power plants will become digital plants by 2025 — a short seven years from now. The industrial sector is all aboard when it comes to industry 4.0, according to Susan Peterson, Digital Lead for APP Power Generation & Water, in IIoT World.

“Connected devices will enable new service models. Despite extensive automation, utilities will continue to rely on human collaboration and expertise,” said Peterson.

For those in power and water industries, two sectors rapidly adapting to digital transformation, focusing on the user experience and how digital will change how the operator works is an important aspect.

Helping operators grow and accelerate real gains from Industrial IoT is the key to new business models, creating a new way of working.

Yet, despite the enthusiasm for digitization in utilities, only 8% of utility operations are digitally mature.

This means there are still abundant opportunities within the sector, who’s worth is proven by small, tangible wins where value can be scaled.

Learn more about becoming a digital utility and creating intelligent systems.

Rather than being a deterrent, Peterson sees automation as an enabler. Power generation, for example, is one of the most automated industries today. We are at the beginning of a massive transformation in the power generation industry over the next few years.

It’d predicted that by 2019 — one year from now — 25% of the top 100 utilities will cut their IT costs by at least 30% by migrating IT infrastructure into the public cloud.

By 2020, 25% of utilities will incorporate performance management investments with sensor data to improve asset efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

Embracing data and analytics as the driving force of digital transformation is the key to making businesses thrive. Interested in hearing more?

Check out our eBook for a better in-depth view on deciphering digital priorities and taking the first steps.

 

Q&A: Mitigating Cyber Risk in Digital Transformation

The Industry 4.0 ThinkTank brought together the U.S. manufacturing sector with provocative thinkers, industry leaders and experts to help simplify and humanize the Industry 4.0 digitization process. Couldn’t make it to Chicago? No problem.

GrayMatter’s Cyber Practice Lead Scott Christensen brought back his insights to share an exclusive, all-access look at mitigating OT cyber risk in this Q&A after serving as a panel member.

“It’s a battle of kingdoms between IT teams and production teams.”

Q: What was the best success story you have?

The best one I have is a conversation with a manufacturer who said they’re going to re-architect their systems and how they’re going to go about cyber OT.

Typically, when it comes to OT cyber strategy, it’s a battle of kingdoms between IT teams and production teams. No one is sure who owns cyber in the production world, creating a lack of convergence on what the best methodology is for going forward in cyber security.

Want to learn more? Take a look at the GrayMatter Cyber Security Guide for Operational Technology.

The manufacturer’s new way of going forward would involve a team made of both cyber IT security experts and production members, such as plant managers, operational engineers or the COO.

This brings the barriers down of who has ownership of cyber production within the network, creating a team that can work together to mitigate risks.

“They get in a state of paralysis, and it can be detrimental when decisions are at a standstill.”

Q: What insights did you get from manufacturing customers on their biggest cyber struggles?

The biggest struggle I recognized was people trying to overcome their fear of the unknown. Being afraid of doing nothing will cause problems, but people are also afraid that doing something will cause greater problems. They get in a state of paralysis, and it can be detrimental when decisions are at a standstill.

The best advice I can give to a manufacturing VP is to find the quick and easy wins to justify a cyber security program. Don’t try to accomplish everything at once, because that’s when the state of paralysis happens. Look for areas to show success for deploying areas in the production world.

“Understand what you’re trying to achieve, and move forward from there.”

Q: Have most manufacturing companies started a cyber plan?

That’s the interesting part – it’s a pretty even split. Those that establish through OT cyber, a lot don’t have modification based on digitization of manufacturing floor so they’re being thrown out.

The other half haven’t even touched OT from a cyber standpoint and don’t know how to begin mitigating risks.

I get a lot of questions like ‘how do I begin?’ ‘where do I even start?’ and ‘how do I look?’

Most people don’t understand what their assets look like, what their risks are or the facts behind them. For me, the answer is pretty simple — understand what you’re trying to achieve, and move forward from there.

Learn more about the digital transformation journey — check out our eBook.

cyber security

Scott Christensen, Cyber Practice Lead at GrayMatter.

About Scott Christensen

Based out of Houston, Scott is helping spearhead the GrayMatter cyber practice as an industry thought leader on operational technology cyber security. He specializes in helping companies struggling with risk on the journey to digital transformation and mapping out OT cyber strategies.

Follow Scott on LinkedIn

TechHub: Bell Revolutionizing Transportation, Exxon’s Future & Oil News

Bell Helicopter Revolutionizing Mass Transportation


Bell Helicopter is leading the innovation in mass transportation through a partnership with Uber, expecting to create the world’s first air-taxis by 2025, according to Bloomberg.

“Air taxi is the next way for our industry, and it’s very important for us to make sure we are among the disrupters to think about what should be transportation in the next 10-20 years,” said Patrick Moulay, executive vice president for commercial helicopter sales.

oil and gas

A commercial teasing the release of the air taxis shows a familiar Uber-like screen to order the taxi for pickup.

“We’re not going to see a taxi flying tomorrow, but it’s much closer than what people think.”

The initial testing is set to begin in 2020 in Dallas and Dubai, two car-clogged cities with notorious traffic problems.

ExxonMobil to Triple Production by 2025

ExxonMobil, the largest oil company in the U.S., announced plans to triple oil and gas production by 2025 — continuing the positive signs of a boom in national crude production, according to the NY Times.

The company has been investing heavily in the Permian Basin, an area between West Texas and New Mexico leading the way in a national recovery of oil production after a three-year fall in crude prices.

The Permian is roughly the size of South Dakota with multiple layers of thick shale, easing the costs of exploration, drilling and production.

oil and gas

An ExxonMobil drilling site in the Permian Basin.

Exxon said that tripling oil and natural gas production would bring its output in the Permian to 600,000 barrels a day. To support increase production, it will invest more than $2 billion to expand production infrastructure.

Energy companies are racing to build pipelines to move Permian oil and gas to Gulf of Mexico ports for export as well as pipelines to Mexico, where natural gas is replacing oil and coal in an effort to remake the country’s electricity system and clean up urban air.

ExxonMobil said it would spend $50 billion on U.S. operations over the next five years, highlighting the company’s shift to operations in the U.S. and Western Hemisphere.

The Amazing Tech Disrupting Oil & Gas

As each new age group goes “digitally native,” the overall workforce has demanded higher workplace technology standards — even in legacy industries, according to Entrepreneur.

The transition has resulted in massive opportunities for entrepreneurs, creating brand new technologies and updating antiquated processes. The biggest industry opting for digital efficiency and young, entrepreneurial leadership? Oil and gas.

With a booming market and an eagerness for innovation, the industry is ripe for disruption to existing business models and for real growth.

Here’s a snapshot of the top four innovations transforming the oil and gas sector:

Artificial Intelligence

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to have the biggest technological impact on the oil and gas industry over the coming years,” according to Omar Saleh, Microsoft’s oil and gas director for the Middle East and Africa.

ExxonMobile, for example, is spearheading AI exploration through a partnership with MIT to explore oceans using AI software.

Cloud Computing

The energy sector’s present adoption of cloud technology is low due to past wariness of security risks, however there’s still a strong future for it.

A forecast by the U.K,-based Oil & Gas Council predicts an increase in adoption due to commercial benefits and possibilities, with some of the most complex organizations embracing the computing power and agility of cloud.

“The oil and gas industry should be afforded exactly the same competitive edge, not confined by their own data centers,” said Shiva Rajagopalan, CEO and founder of Seven Lakes Technologies.

3D-scanning Tech

3D printing is coming in play for oil and gas, creating fast and cost-effective representations of assets for predictive maintenance and execution.

This tech changes the game by:

  • Allowing reverse-engineering to measure oil and gas tools in virtually every shape and size
  • Scanning data to confirm whether replacement parts will fit existing equipment
  • Providing clear documentation of tooling erosion to improve product design
  • Reproducing tooling components

The Internet of Things

We’re well into the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, at this point in 2018. The industry is aware of the value of IoT, becoming more apparent each day.

Companies are demonstrating new applications for information from these technologies. For oil and gas the value lies in creating a set of standards “to guide how devices are structured, and a common language can be understood,” according to Paul Turner, CMO of Cloudian.

Advanced Robotics

One of the most critical challenges in oil and gas is mitigating risk — which can be managed by deploying human-controlled robotics.

Earlier this year Chevron partnered with OC Robotics to inspect offshore oil and natural gas pressure vessels in the North Sea. The robotic snake arm, built to operate in confined spaces, allows humans to operate critical missions while staying out of harm’s way.

Innovative advances in AI, cloud computing, 3D printing, IoT and robotics are transforming the future of the oil and gas industry.

TechHub: MIT Makes Ink for 3D Printing, 4 IIoT Trends for Executives & More

MIT Makes Ink That Changes 3D Printed Objects’ Color

New research from MIT has created a method for recoloring 3D printed objects after they’ve been printed. The method, called ColorFab, combines software, hardware and special 3D ink, according to CNN.

The new tech aims to reduce waste in manufacturing — preventing the need to re-print something to change the color.

 

“Manufacturers and designers spend significant amounts of time, energy and money re-printing designs when they don’t come out exactly right the first time,” Stefanie Mueller, coauthor of the paper and professor at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, told CNN Tech. “This sort of technology could help minimize the amount of waste that is produced from updating products.”

By using special 3D printable ink, the color is changed when exposed to UV light. Currently, researchers can change the color of an object in 20 minutes, but believe the time will decrease in the future as methods improve. Efforts are focused on plastic 3D printed materials for now, but it will plans are underway for it to be used on a wide variety of other materials like metals in the future.

4 Trends That Will Help Executives Create A Better World

As we enter into the second month of 2018, everyone in the industry knows what industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is and what it means. More and more studies are showing that executives are jumping on board, believing artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT are going to change the world for the better.

Forbes and Deloitte recently reported that of 1,600 executives surveyed, 87% said industry 4.0 would lead to more equality and stability.

Due to this, it’s predicted that in the future, executives will be expected to pay more attention to societal issues. While the need to achieve financial returns will never go away, four existing trends have been observed that can help companies drive social values:

One

Technology as a societal tool

Opportunities for using tech for problem-solving humanity’s greatest challenges exist across multiple industries. HSBC CEO John Flint points out that industry 4.0 has enabled the banking sector to create a better world, allowing it to serve previously undeserved communities, due to technology lowering operating costs.

Interested in learning more about smart banks?

Two

Financial Returns From Doing Good

Studies show that companies who focus on doing good reap financial benefits. According to Deloitte, the average sales growth for brands with a commitment to sustainability outperform brands without it, operating at a higher performance. Studies also show that a majority of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services offered by socially responsible companies.

Three

Millennials Adhere To A New Set of Values

It’s known by now that millenials have disrupted the market, often considering a company’s purpose when choosing what to buy or where to work. 64% of millenials won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility practices, making it no longer an option.

Deloitte reported that six in ten millenials consider business leaders to be committed to helping improve society, and see business as a positive force that behaves in a responsible way.

Four

The Dawn Of A New Era

The 1980’s brought material excesses, 1990’s the dotcom bubble and 2008 the financial crisis — meaning we’re due for a reset of the social mood. The director of MIT Media Lab predicts that a societal awakening is underway, creating a new sensibility and nonlinear change in consumer behavior through a cultural transformation. Executives will be pushing companies in a more socially minded direction to compensate.

U.S. Shale Breaks Records with Explosive Growth, Beating Saudi Arabia

U.S. oil production has now surged above 10 million barrels a day for the first time in four decades, marking a profound shift in global crude markets, according to Industry Week.

This comes just weeks after the International Energy Agency said the U.S. is poised for “explosive growth” in oil output that would rival Saudi Arabia and Russia this year.


New drilling and production techniques have opened up billions of barrels of recoverable U.S. oil in shale rock formations, reversing decades of declining output and turning the nation into a top exporter.

Nationwide output climbed to 10.038 million barrels a day in November, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. That’s the highest level since November 1970 in monthly data collected by the U.S. agency since 1920.

Production from Texas contributed 3.89 million barrels a day to the November figure, the most of any state.

Forecasts predict U.S. production to have an average of 10.3 million barrels a day this year, and 10.9 million in 2019, beating Saudi Arabia’s production of just less than 10 million barrels.

Translate »