Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Atos and Siemens partner to bring security to US energy sector

Steve Rogerson
March 28, 2017



Atos and Siemens have expanded their strategic relationship to provide cyber-security for utilities and the oil and gas industry in the USA.
 
The alliance between France-based digital services company Atos and German engineering giant Siemens was started in 2011. They have now signed a memorandum of understanding to leverage their portfolios to help customers establish an integrated first line of defence against cyber attacks.
 
Siemens and Atos are working together in the area of cyber-security for industrial companies, providing users in the manufacturing and processing industries with security services and products.
 
The partnership in the USA is part of a global agreement around cyber-security including common go-to-market and shared research and development efforts to target information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security for any market.
 
Atos has capabilities in IT, including identity access management, real-time security analytics, next-generation cryptography and software-defined security architecture. Siemens brings deep domain know-how for OT cyber, including security programme design, security life cycle management, plant security monitoring and incident response. Together, they plan to help companies with an integrated approach to protecting against, detecting, and correcting threats quickly and efficiently. 
 
As utilities increasingly use software to become more efficient and reliable, there is a corresponding need to boost cyber defences – going beyond compliance regulations to secure operations. In oil and gas, digitalisation brings a convergence of IT and OT connectivity that enables data to travel from the field, to the control room to the enterprise network – underscoring the need to address the crossover between IT and OT.
 
A recent study from the Ponemon Institute showed that nearly 70 per cent of US oil and gas cyber managers said their operations had had at least one security compromise in the past year, resulting in the loss of confidential information or OT disruption – highlighting the need for the oil and gas industry to increase its cyber defences.
 
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand the Siemens and Atos relationship as US utilities, oil and gas industries are realising the extent of cyber-security challenges when moving into a digitised and connected ecosystem," said Michel-Alain Proch, group senior executive vice president for Atos. "With our combined end-to-end suite of solutions and innovative approaches to security analytics and better detection and response capabilities, customers will see tangible advantages in cost and risk reductions, as well as enhanced performance and flexibility gains."
 
Atos has around 100,000 employees in 72 countries and pro forma annual revenue of circa €12bn. It specialises in big data, cyber-security and digital workplaces and provides cloud services, infrastructure and data management, as well as transactional services through European payment company Worldline.
 
"As the energy industry benefits from digital technologies, there is a need to guard against growing cyber threats," said Judy Marks, CEO for Siemens in the USA. “This new cooperation is part of our broad effort to deliver cyber-security to America's energy sector. By bridging operational technology and information technology capabilities, we can strengthen our customers' defences against costly and disruptive attacks.”
 
The Indian government has set up four Computer Emergency Response Teams (Certs) to mitigate cyber security threats in power systems. There is one each to look at threats in transmission, thermal, hydro and distribution sectors.