New technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are beginning to spread to industrial automation systems. The benefits from introducing these new technologies include improved efficiency and operability, but there are also new risks. Security measures compatible with new technologies are therefore vital for realizing safe and secure industrial automation systems while maximizing their advantages. Yokogawa is utilizing its extensive knowledge and experience related to systems and their operations to conduct research and development of security measures applicable to industrial automation systems. To that end, we participate in SICE, JEMIMA, JEITA*, and other academic societies and industrial associations related to control system security, and we engage in information exchanges with users and other stakeholders. Utilizing the expertise on issues and risks related to industrial automation systems we have developed through these activities and through dialogue with on-site users, we aim to realize new security measures suited to the needs and operational circumstances of our customers.
*SICE, Society of Instrument and Control Engineers; JEMIMA, Japan Electric Measuring Instruments Manufacturers Association; JEITA, Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association
Industrial automation systems generally operate over long periods, so their security measures must also remain effective over similarly long-time frames. Industrial automation systems are further characterized as systems operating in limited locations, by limited personnel, and for limited purposes, so our Innovation Center is investigating “information–physical security concepts” that utilize these features. Based on these concepts, we believe that security measures with the following features are necessary.
• Clear principles, operations, and effects
• Use of physical elements to increase the difficulty of remote attacks
• Elimination of elements that require updates, greatly reducing the risk of system compromise over extended periods.
One implementation of our information–physical security concept is our research and development of MemWiper*, a USB memory device eraser. MemWiper is a security measure that allows safe removal of data from industrial automation systems. It erases all data from flash drives attached to a PC, preventing risk of introducing viruses. By realizing safe data export from industrial automation systems, we are supporting more active data utilization.
*MemWiper is sold by Altecs Co., Ltd. under license by Yokogawa Electric Corp.
Overview of the information-physical security concept
Overview of MemWiper
Concepts for the future
The technologies involved in industrial automation systems are evolving daily, and security risks are evolving alongside them. Yokogawa understands and creates industrial automation systems, and we aim to contribute to a safer and more secure society by applying our knowledge to the research and development of security technologies suited to our times. Through ongoing research on our information–physical security concept and other security measures suited to industrial automation systems, we will better ensure their security and safety.