As businesses attempt to integrate new and legacy systems, often without taking a holistic approach to network security, the worldwide pricetag for cybercrime is expected to nearly double over the next five years. With an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions, ABB takes this trend very seriously. The company’s Group Cyber Security Council brings together experts from throughout the organization to maximize awareness of potential threats and ensure that measures are implemented according to the same standards across the entire company.
Satish Gannu, ABB Industrial Automation, San Jose, CA, United States, firstname.lastname@example.org
According to a recent study conducted by Juniper Research, a UK-based technology research firm, criminal digital data breaches could cost businesses a total of $8 trillion worldwide over the next 5 years. The growing size of such breaches is being driven in large part by the steady increase in Internet connectivity and by the challenges faced by enterprises as they struggle to keep up with this trend by rolling out new cyber security measures.
In its study , Juniper Research estimates that the number of personal data records stolen by cyber criminals is likely to nearly double to 5 billion by 2020 from an estimated 2.8 billion in 2017.
This trend indicates that cyber security problems are becoming particularly acute as businesses attempt to integrate new and legacy systems without taking a holistic approach to network security.
Huge installed base
ABB takes this trend very seriously. The company has an installed base of 70 million connected devices, 70,000 digital control systems and 6,000 enterprise software solutions. As a leader in the industrial space, it has four decades of experience creating secure digital solutions for customers in critical business segments, such as oil and gas, power generation and distribution. The slightest interruption in such areas can have massive consequences for economic activity and the environment.
Worldwide wake-up call
The 2010 cyber security breach that came to be known as Stuxnet at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran was a wake-up call for the entire industry – and for the whole world. Although ABB equipment was not compromised, the incident triggered a process of internal reflection and investigation.
The Stuxnet breach made clear that any company could have been hit and it exposed the potential vulnerabilities of a vast range of devices.
Strengthening operational readiness
With this in mind, ABB initiated a process of scaling up local and divisional initiatives to group level. As a result, the Group Cyber Security Council was created. As indicated in →1, the Council evolved into a body designed to ensure an ongoing strengthening of ABB’s operational readiness.
Benefitting from a wide range of experts in areas such as R&D, IS infrastructures, legal and communications, the Council actively works to keep internal cyber security awareness at a high level throughout the organization.
The Council also participates in standardization efforts such as Platform Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet Consortium and works closely with dozens of universities. Furthermore, the Council ensures that measures are implemented according to the same standards across the entire company →2 and that ABB suppliers are at the same level of security as is ABB itself.
Cyber security: front and center
Over the years, cyber security has become an integral part of ABB’s product portfolio. Today, it is front and center at every phase, from design and development to product maintenance and support.
A few examples of what ABB is doing to increase the reliability and security of its solutions include:
• Threat modeling and security design reviews
• Security training of software developers
• In-house and external security testing as part of quality assurance processes.
What has already happened in the IT sector is now taking place in industrial-control-system cyber security. Indeed, cyber security is becoming an integral part of daily life with automated software updates, security patches and antivirus updates designed to thwart a growing number of threats. ABB is ready to enhance security features on a constant basis through innovations and to provide the right products to meet the security needs of its customers’ critical infrastructures.
 Juniper Research, “Cybercrime to cost global business over $8 trillion in the next 5 years.” Available here