Cyber security in the pulp and paper industry

A cyber security breach in a pulp, paper, packaging or tissue mill can bring production to a halt, leading to serious financial losses. It can also cause harm to workers, equipment and the environment, destruction of data and much more. Luckily, you have a strong partner on your side to protect your control system and IoT infrastructure against potential security threats.

Productivity and processes in modern mills 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 a malicious code is one thing--the Stuxnet worm is one memorable example of a virus that targeted industrial control systems--but many day-to-day attacks don’t make the headlines and still 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” strategy in which ABB’s distributed control system, ABB Ability™ System 800xA, plays an important part. 

Working with mills worldwide, ABB has found it's never too late to begin implementing a cyber security strategy. It's important 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 when using our cyber security services.

Our services delivered through ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations for pulp and paper

Automatic updating will relieve you of routine tasks

It is not an 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.

How we can help
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, which also automatically deploys in the automation system using a remote access platform and the mill security server. ABB can, if requested, activate Microsoft security patches onsite, by rebooting the nodes in a defined cycle that 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. 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 mill security server and your control system on a daily basis by the ABB Security Update Server.

This cyber security analytics service is accessed through the ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations for pulp & paper service delivery platform - conveniently deployed on any control system at your location. Data from all ABB Cyber Security Services that you use can be viewed through a web-based user interface that is easily accessible by customer or ABB personnel.


ABB Ability™ digital services have successfully improved the cyber security of pulp and paper mills 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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