Siemens has joined forces with Cambridge UK cyber security business Darktrace to strengthen the digital defences of vulnerable electric utilities and oil & gas companies.
The energy and utility sectors have long faced some of the most advanced attackers – from industrial espionage to state-sponsored attacks.
As part of national critical infrastructure, the importance of defending these organisations in this new era of threats cannot be underestimated, says Darktrace CEO, Nicole Eagan.
Now €80 billion turnover German powerhouse Siemens is fast-tracking Darktrace’s industrial immune system to global businesses at greatest risk.
The partnership combines Darktrace’s bleeding edge AI algorithms and machine learning, which can understand a system’s behaviour patterns to identify and take action against emerging attacks, automatically, in real time with Siemens’ 165-year track record as an industrial technology provider.
Nicole Eagan (pictured) said Siemens had built an inherent understanding of how to manage cyber risk in complex operating environments, including security programme design, security lifecycle management, plant security monitoring, and incident response.
As leaders in their respective industries, the partnership will enable customers to protect critical data travelling from the field to the control room and to the enterprise network and swiftly respond to cyber-attacks before an entire network is affected.
Eagan said that as these sectors identified by the partners become increasingly digital to achieve revenue and efficiency gains, there is a corresponding need to identify cyber-threats at their earliest stages – going beyond compliance regulations to secure operations.
Utilities and oil and gas organisations must defend their entire networks, including all OT (operational technology) against persistent and highly sophisticated cyber-threats without disrupting business processes. In the oil and gas industry, for instance, digitalisation brings a convergence of IT and OT with critical data travelling from the field to the control room, to the enterprise network.
Leveraging advances in machine learning and probabilistic mathematics – IP rooted in Cambridge University – Darktrace’s industrial immune system platform can detect and remediate in-progress cyber-threats at their nascent stages.
By learning the ‘pattern of life’ for every network, device, and user across both OT and IT networks, the AI algorithms can identify and automatically take action against emerging attacks that other tools consistently miss, all in real time.
Nicole Eagan said: “As OT environments become more digital, they open a new and glaring vulnerability in organisations of all sizes. With over 2,400 deployments to date, Darktrace’s immune system technology is uniquely capable of not only identifying in-progress threats, but also neutralising them.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Siemens to fast-track the delivery of our technology to additional customers in utilities and the oil & gas industry. This new era of cyber warfare has resulted in an increased demand for our machine learning technology, which is uniquely capable of providing automated security to environments that extend beyond the corporate network.”
Anchored in Berlin and Munich, Siemens AG is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalisation.
One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry.
The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT.
In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6bn and net income of €5.6bn and at period-end had around 351,000 employees worldwide.