Last updateMon, 19 Mar 2018 5am

Technology for Visualizing and Analyzing Control System Traffic to Verify its Integrity

Yokogawa Electric Corporation (Yokogawa, President: Takashi Nishijima) announces that it has worked with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology of Japan (NICT, President: Dr. Masao Sakauchi), Professor Yasuo Okabe of Kyoto University, and former Associate Professor Hiroki Takakura of Kyoto University to jointly develop a technology that visualizes and analyzes control system traffic to verify its integrity. This technology, which has been integrated by Yokogawa in an industry-first network healthiness check service, can quickly detect security incidents such as a malware infection. This combines visualization technology with the collection and analysis of traffic data to verify the integrity of control system networks, and is expected to improve the security of control systems used in public utilities.

Control system security has become a serious concern in recent years due to the proliferation of cyber-attacks targeting critically important infrastructure like public utilities: electric power, gas, and water. As control systems increasingly rely on operating systems and standard protocols that are both open and versatile, cyber attacks are very common now with various infection routes not only via the Internet but also via USB memory devices and other media, making it difficult to prevent all malware infections. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a technology that can quickly detect security incidents. Such technology should not have an impact on control system availability (stable, continuous operation) as these systems need to keep operating without interruption for very long periods, even as long as several decades.

NICT, Yokogawa, and Kyoto University jointly developed a technology for visualizing and analyzing control system traffic to verify its integrity and quickly detect security incidents such as malware infections.

Unlike general information systems where the amount and direction of traffic keep changing, it is easier with control system networks to identify when traffic conditions are normal as these systems are designed and used for a specific purpose. We focused on this characteristic. Our technology saves data on normal control system traffic conditions as a white list. With reference to this list, the technology monitors the dynamic state of the control system network to detect any abnormalities such as an increase in traffic or communication with an unknown IP address that could be caused by malware.

Furthermore, by using NIRVANA*, a real-time traffic visualization system developed by NICT, we improved this technology to comply with unique communications protocols used by control systems. As a result, this technology can identify traffic conditions much easier when an abnormality is identified (Figures 2 and 3).

Since there is no need to install detection software on each control system host (or server), this technology is easy to be introduced and does not impact control system availability.

Exida releases Safety Equipment Reliablity Handbook (Serh) - 4th Edition

Safety Equipment Reliablity HandbookExida, a global supplier of functional safety products, services, and certifications has released their Safety Equipment Reliability Handbook (SERH) – 4th Edition, a hard copy of the SERH database with a vast amount of equipment item reliability data.

The SERH database provides a collection of failure rate data that is applicable for use in Safety Instrumented System (SIS) conceptual design verification in the process industry.

“The number of equipment items with realistic failure rate data has increased tremendously in the 12 years since the first edition was published,” says Rachel Amkreutz, SERH project manager. “The SERH remains the ultimate reference source for any safety engineer involved in Conceptual Design and Safety Integrity Level verification. Users of the information can trust that the data represented has been reviewed in detail and judged applicable for use to evaluate equipment items in Safety Instrumented Function (SIF) applications.”

“Having a single source of failure rate data, easy to implement by users in their SIL verification calculations, will improve effectiveness and consistency,” says Joe Scalia, ARC Advisory Group. “With the SERH, the amount of time needed to research individual products and determine the applicability of the data to Safety Instrumented Systems in the process industry, virtually drops to zero.”

Rockwell Automation opens call for nominations for 2015 Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards

Rockwell Automation is now accepting nominations for its third annual Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards.  The awards celebrate the world’s safest manufacturing companies – those that make workplace safety a core business value by building a comprehensive program based on three key pillars: a strong safety culture, well-executed compliance procedures, and effective use of current safeguarding and automation technology.

“The 2014 winners – Corning Environmental Technologies and Bevcorp – were selected because their commitment to safety stretches beyond compliance to help achieve business goals,” said Mark Eitzman, safety market development manager at Rockwell Automation. “For them, keeping workers safe is the top priority. But safety also improves operational efficiency and company profitability, so it’s viewed as a barometer of company success rather than a costly obligation.”

The awards are open to manufacturers, machine builders (OEMs) or system integrators, as long as they demonstrate a true commitment to safety across the three key pillars of culture, compliance and technology. Nominations are due Sept. 14, 2015.

“Winning the award in 2014 demonstrated our team’s dedication to continually improving machine safety,” said Chris Pascarella, president of Bevcorp. “As an OEM, our customers often come to us focused on efficiency and compliance. By partnering with them and designing safety into our machines from the start, we help improve their productivity and raise the bar on machine safety in the OEM community.”

The awards also recognize companies that successfully integrate safety practices between the engineering and environmental health and safety (EHS) departments. This helps enable the kind of collaboration that dramatically reduces injury rates while also improving plant productivity.

Past winners include General Motors, Procter & Gamble and the PepsiCo divisions of Walkers Crisps and Pepsi Flavors.

To nominate a company, complete the entry form and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Safety Excellence Awards Nomination” in the subject line

Yokogawa and GasSecure provide SIL2-certified Wireless Gas Detection System for LNG Facility

Yokogawa Electric Corporation and GasSecure AS, a Dräger owned company, announce the delivery of the world's first SIL2*1-certified wireless gas detection system for use at an LNG production facility in Northern Europe. On this date, the two companies will begin promoting the unique capabilities of this system solution to companies that have a strong interest in maintaining safe and secure operations.

Yokogawa has been developing a wide variety of ISA100 Wireless*2 technologies and field wireless devices such as adapters that enable conventional wired devices to access wireless networks, and provides them to plants and other facilities primarily in the upstream oil and gas sector. GasSecure has developed ISA100 Wireless gas detectors that can detect leaks of explosive hydrocarbon*3 gases and are certified for compliance with the ATEX directive and the IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme, and installs them on offshore oil and gas drilling platforms and at tank farms, industrial plants, and the like. GasSecure has already supplied a number of these products to leading oil and gas companies around the world.

In 2014, GasSecure and Yokogawa concluded an agreement under which the two companies jointly developed a wireless gas detection system that would meet their customers' requirements.

This system uses GasSecure's GS01 wireless gas detectors to measure hydrocarbon gas concentrations. Using the ISA100 Wireless communications protocol, the GS01 establishes a link with a Yokogawa YFGW510 access point and sends data to a host system via a Yokogawa YFGW410 field wireless management station. Although the GS01 uses a low-power infrared sensor and is very energy efficient, it has a very fast response time. This capability of the GS01 and the utilization of dual redundant communications by Yokogawa's field wireless products make them essential components for the construction of a fast and highly reliable monitoring solution.

To meet its customers' safety requirements, GasSecure has made enhancements to the GS01 to obtain SIL2 certification for this device. For its part, Yokogawa has modified the YFGW410 so that it now supports the PROFIsafe safety communication standard, and has verified that both companies' products perform and operate as specified.

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Yokogawa Promotes GICSP Training to Enhance Plant Safety

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that, as of the end of fiscal year 2014, 14 of its employees have obtained certification as Global Industrial Cyber Security Professionals (GICSP). This is a relatively new professional qualification, first introduced in November 2013, and Yokogawa has been one of the leading companies within the industrial automation industry in obtaining certification for its employees. This attests to the high-level industrial cyber security expertise of its workforce and is in line with the company's longstanding commitment to bringing its customers safety and asset excellence.

The GICSP certification exam is offered under the auspices of Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), a leader in the cyber security certification field. The GICSP is the only credential of its kind that addresses the specific cyber security issues that are encountered in the industrial control systems (ICS) field. This vendor-neutral certification is aimed at IT, engineering, and security professionals working in every industry. It assesses and validates that professionals have the skills, knowledge, and capabilities needed to be in a role where they will exercise responsibility for the cyber security of an ICS.

An increasing number of Yokogawa's major customers are now requiring the assignment of at least one GICSP qualified professional to each project. This is clear evidence of the industry's strong recognition of and support for this professional qualification.

Commenting on the GICSP, Shailendra Shete, head of the Global Engineering Business Division, says, "I believe it will be difficult for Yokogawa to make headway in expanding its security business if we do not emphasize the GICSP. Employees who get this certification will be conversant with the latest technologies and be at the forefront of efforts to provide such services to the industry. I think that they will be able to help Yokogawa take and maintain a leading position in the provision of security services."

Yokogawa is continually striving to optimize control systems security for its customers by developing highly secure systems and instruments and providing operational support services. Even before launching its GICSP initiative, Yokogawa had developed its own security training program to ensure that its employees would be able to provide the security solutions needed by customers. Yokogawa will continue its efforts to increase the number of GICSP certified professionals at each of its Group companies around the world. This will help to strengthen the company's position as a leader in the ICS field, and will build on our long history in network security and our global reach. Our continual aim is to make sure that our customers can operate their plants safely.