Cyber security for steel industry and other metals manufacturers

The metals industry is more exposed to cyber security risks than ever before. Luckily, you have a strong partner on your side to protect your control system and IoT infrastructure against potential security threats.

Productivity in modern metals plants and processes depends on sophisticated computer-controlled automation systems that have become so powerful, and so ubiquitous, that they amount to a new industrial revolution – the Internet of Things.

Progress is, however, often accompanied by unintended consequences. In the case of automation, the computers that make production smarter also make it more vulnerable to external interference. The risk of infection by the malicious code that infests the internet is one thing -the Stuxnet worm was one memorable example of a virus that targeted industrial control systems- and since then we have also seen a sophisticated attack on a German steel mill that crippled a blast furnace, as well as many day-to-day attacks, that don’t make the headlines, but also cause damage and delay.

As it's our experts who design these cutting-edge control systems, we also know how to make them as resilient as possible. To this end, our experienced team has formulated a set of measures aimed at protecting their reliability, integrity and availability. The general idea is to set up a “defense in depth”, an important part in which is played by ABB’s distributed control system, ABB Ability™ System 800xA.

WannaCry and NotPetya wreaked havoc on companies running WindowsXP, but failed an entry-level cyber security test. It's more important ever to keep systems patched and updated. Monitoring and proactively servicing your network firewalls and malware protection is just as important as serving your equipment. Thankfully digital technologies give us new tools that also make it easier than ever to collect and analyze security data, and provide you with powerful protection with our cyber security services.


This service is delivered via the ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations for metals platform, offering continuous monitoring and expert, remote support designed to help you reach higher levels of performance optimization.

ABB Ability™ Cyber Security services for metals

Automatic updating will relieve you of routine tasks

It is no easy task being in charge of cyber security. Staying up-to-date with security requirements and defending against cyber threats takes a lot of time and effort. Some tasks must be done on a daily basis, such as updating virus signatures, checking if there are any Windows security patches available, or monitoring and checking backups. There are many other time-consuming aspects, such as managing remote support access, production of system backups and monitoring of system or application events. Fast and appropriate reactions to cyber threats play a decisive role in system security.

ABB validates third-party security patches for your automation systems and enables them shortly after release. These security patches are provided for download at the ABB Security Update Server. Deployment in the automation system takes place automatically from the ABB Security Update Server using a remote access platform and the plant security server. ABB can, if requested, activate Microsoft security patches onsite, by rebooting the nodes in a defined cycle which takes the availability requirements of your system into account.

Anti-virus software (blacklisting) can be provided as a basic solution for protecting the system against viruses and malware. The execution of applications and other software is blocked if malware is detected. As an automation system manufacturer, ABB documents the tested and approved virus protection programs for ABB automation systems. To keep the anti-virus signatures in your control system up-to-date, they are updated and deployed in the plant security server and your control system on a daily basis by the ABB Security Update Server via the Remote Access Platform.

This cyber security analytics service is accessed through the ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations for metals service delivery platform - conveniently deployed on any control system at your location. Data is viewed through a web-based user interface that is easily accessible by customer or ABB personnel.

As all the ABB Cyber Security Services you use are included in the dashboard, you get all the security-relevant data in a centralized way, using a single interface.


ABB Ability™ digital services have successfully improved the cyber security of metals plants across the globe.

Many customers have scheduled risk assessments as part of their ongoing annual service agreements, while others have implemented cyber security analytics dashboards to continuously monitor, diagnose and resolve security issues.

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Partner with ABB to accelerate your digital transformation journey

Why ABB?
  • Experienced provider OT and IT stack
  • Third party and legacy integration
  • Domain knowledge and metals industry knowledge
  • Efficient transformation projects, focus on ROI
  • New tools such as cloud, analytics
  • Development model with partners to jointly develop solutions

>> ABB references in metals industry

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