Cyber Security got a shout-out during the Siemens Spotlight on Innovation forum in Orlando last week. Leo Simonovich, VP and Global Head, Industrial Cyber and Digital Security at Siemens Gas and Power, and Mike Wiacek, co-founder & CSO of Chronicle (an Alphabet company) took the stage discussing their newly signed cyber security agreement.
Key phrase—“customers can own their environment”. Perhaps the most interesting conversation I had during the networking event was with a Chronicle tech person who gave me a deep dive into the product. This is security unlike everything else I investigate in the OT realm. This isn’t a network monitoring app. Nor is it a device that acts as a firewall for industrial control devices. It builds a huge database and adds analytics (which is “in our DNA”). The solution has two parts—visibility and context. It bridges IT and OT worlds with the intent to “democratize security for the success of the digital economy”; that is, make it accessible to customers, simple, affordable, easy-to-use.
Through a unified approach that will leverage Chronicle’s Backstory platform and Siemens’ strength in industrial cyber security, the combined offering gives energy customers unparalleled visibility across information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) to provide operational insights and confidentially act on threats.
The energy industry has historically been unable to centrally apply analytics to process data streams, cost-effectively store and secure data, and identify malicious threats within OT systems. Research conducted by Siemens and Ponemon Institute found that while 60 percent of energy companies want to leverage analytics, only 20 percent are utilizing any analytics to do security monitoring in the OT environment. Small and medium enterprises are particularly vulnerable to security breaches as they frequently do not have the internal expertise to manage and address increasingly sophisticated attacks.
“The innovative partnership between Siemens and Chronicle demonstrates a new frontier in applying the power of security analytics to critical infrastructure that is increasingly dependent on digital technology,” said Simonovich. “Cyber-attacks targeting energy companies have reached unprecedented speeds, and our cutting-edge managed service unlocks the analytics ecosystem offers a new level of protection from potential operational, business and safety losses.”
“Energy infrastructure is an obvious example of cyber-attacks affecting the physical world and directly impacting people’s lives,” said Ansh Patnaik, Chief Product Officer, Chronicle. “Backstory’s security telemetry processing capabilities, combined with Siemens’ deep expertise, gives customers new options for protecting their operations.”
The partnership between Siemens and Chronicle will help energy companies securely and cost-effectively leverage the cloud to store and categorize data, while applying analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to OT systems that can identify patterns, anomalies, and cyber threats. Chronicle’s Backstory, a global security telemetry platform for investigation and threat hunting, will be the backbone of Siemens managed service for industrial cyber monitoring, including in both hybrid and cloud environments. This combined solution enables security across the industry’s operating environment – from energy exploration and extraction to power generation and delivery.