Efficient Plant March 2021 - 13

feature | network security
from the highest levels of your management.
Without everyone on board for the process,
it's very unlikely that you will achieve success. The only way to get everyone on board
is to have a mandate from management.
This will assure that everyone is pulling in
the same direction.
Having management buy-in also helps
assure that, when systems-procurement
decisions are made, security is considered.
Note that it's not as simple as having " must
be secure " as an item to check off when
validating a new supplier, subcomponent,
or supervisory control and data acquisition
(SCADA) system. Security is not a binary factor and " secure " can mean different
things to different people or companies.
If you ask any supplier if their systems are
secure, the answer is almost always going to
be yes, but how much faith can you put in
that answer?
The flip side is, if security decisions are
not made, there may be more long-term
costs to bear. Security can easily be seen as a
blocking factor, but it can also be an enabler
if managed correctly. That management
aspect cannot be understated.

SUFFICIENT SECURITY
You need to have a clear understanding of
what " secure " means to you. This answer
will depend on your industry and vertical
market, your target customers, and the way
that you market your products. Obviously,
a company producing systems or materials
for the military will have a different concept
of secure than a company making consumer
goods.
The other aspect of this question is what
everyone else thinks " secure " means. This
is perhaps a much more difficult question,
as it speaks to not only the opinions of your
suppliers, but also the ability to validate that
opinion.
The concept of secure cannot be measured in a single dimension. It has technical

MARCH 2021

EP2103ful.indd 13

and subjective aspects-how much risk are
you willing to accept and how much time
and cost do you want to spend qualifying
systems to that level? Many security-assessment programs, including those that assess
the security of supply chains, account for
this by having a security level and a level of
assurance. For example, an assessment that
returns a low level of risk based on a suppli-

er answering a questionnaire on their own
provides a different and less-rigorous level
of assurance than one that provides a low
level of risk through a third-party audit.
In plant and facilities management, it's
important that you understand what level
of risk is appropriate for your systems and
to what level you want to qualify the risk. It
may be that the answer to this is different

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13

3/1/21 9:25 AM


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Efficient Plant March 2021

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Efficient Plant March 2021 - Cover1
Efficient Plant March 2021 - Cover2
Efficient Plant March 2021 - 1
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