ABB, IBM to prevent against cyber attacks

ABB is combining its process control systems with IBM’s security platforms to help industrial operators improve their security.

As an early result of this collaboration, ABB has developed a new operational technology (OT) security event monitoring services that combines its process control system domain expertise with IBM’s security event monitoring portfolio.

The two companies aim to protect mining and manufacturing facilities from cyber attacks, with IBM finding that attacks on these businesses have increased by more than 2000 per cent since 2018.

ABB and IBM’s collaboration marks the first time that OT data and process industry domain expertise are being brought directly into a security information and event monitoring (SIEM) system.

This allows mining companies to manage their threats as part of their broader cybersecurity strategies.

To better connect OT data with broader IT security ecosystems, ABB has developed a new offering that allows security events to be sent to IBM’s security information and event management platform, QRadar.

This provides domains knowledge required to react to security incidents occurring in the mining, oil, gas and chemicals industries.

“ABB’s collaboration with IBM makes it possible to analyse process controls events in the context of security and impact to the operational environment, delivering strong improvement in our OT cyber threat visbility across the board,” ABB global manager of cyber security service for industrial automation Robert Putman said.

IBM chief technology officer Andreas Kühmichel added that clients could reduce the risk of unprecedented production downtime due to security threats with ABB and IBM’s solution.

“We see the integration of these solutions as bringing market-leading capabilities together for a singular view of OT security,” Kühmichel said.

“With more comprehensive OT and IT security visibility, clients can help reduce the risk of production being suddenly interrupted due to a security event, resulting in costly downtime and broader risk to the company.”

ABB and IBM plan to continue their collaboration in the OT security field to develop new capabilities and address challenges in this space.

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