Cybersecurity as one of selection criteria when buying a DCS system – what are must haves and nice to haves?

Slawomir Kukla

Consultant | OT/ICS Security Associate Manager at Accenture

Session Description
Slawomir Kukla is an accomplished OT/ICS Security Associate Manager at Accenture with 14 years of expertise in developing and delivering automation systems. Proficient in crafting purpose-fit solutions, Slawomir’s focus spans control, safety, and auxiliary systems. His experience extends to ICS system solutions, including vital OT Security components, successfully managing projects across Poland and Europe.

Through deep involvement in ICS and OT Cyber Security projects, Slawomir comprehends the challenges faced by system vendors meeting stringent OT security requirements. His insights were spotlighted at the Oil & Gas Automation and Digitalization Conference 2023, where he shared actionable wisdom. In this blog, we delve into the core of his presentations, uncovering transformative concepts shaping automation and digitalization through Slawomir Kukla’s perspective.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of industrial technology, the selection of Distributed Control Systems (DCS) has become a strategic endeavor, with cybersecurity emerging as a pivotal criterion. Balancing the innovative offerings of DCS vendors with the imperative of safeguarding critical infrastructure against cyber threats presents both challenges and opportunities. The vendor-end-user relationship can sometimes be marked by discrepancies in risk assessment and interpretations of cybersecurity standards. Collaborative efforts are essential to bridge these gaps, ensuring that the chosen DCS system is not only technologically advanced but also fortified against potential cyber vulnerabilities.

When crafting Requests for Quotation (RFQs) for DCS systems, the inclusion of cybersecurity-related requirements has far-reaching implications. While these requirements may increase the upfront costs of system implementation, they serve as a proactive investment against potential cyber breaches that could result in substantial financial and reputational losses. The intricacies of cybersecurity, such as specialized expertise, rigorous testing, and continuous updates, need to be factored into the equation. By analyzing real-world case studies, organizations can gain insights into how specific cybersecurity requirements shape vendor responses. These requirements influence not only the content of RFQ responses but also offer a window into vendors’ commitment to proactive security measures and their ability to align with an organization’s cybersecurity vision. In essence, the integration of robust cybersecurity measures in DCS system selection is a symbiotic blend of technological advancement and digital resilience. As organizations collaborate with vendors to harmonize innovation and security, they pave the way for a future where DCS systems not only drive operational efficiency but also stand as bastions against the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape.

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