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Hazardex 2017 Conference - Can an “SIS” be a Securely Integrated System, as well as a Safety Instrumented System?

Author : Rob Sharrock, Ben Worthy & Andy Crosland - Emerson

04 November 2016

Industrial process automation systems of old were designed and manufactured to be proprietary, closed systems, essentially separated and isolated from the outside world. Process Safety Systems were in the past kept completely separate, perhaps loosely interfaced via serial link or using protocols such as Modbus or OPC over Ethernet.

Recent trends are conspiring to give some process operators reasons to consider the possible risk of a so-called Cyber-Attack. Automation systems have become more “open”, with connections to corporate IT networks driven by the need for exchanging increased levels of data between production and management. And at the same time, many users are embracing the benefits of a fully-integrated control and safety system (ICSS). So with the safety system now potentially connected to the internet, it is wise to take Cyber-Security seriously. But can we keep our Safety Secure?

A number of standards and guidelines are in development, including one from the UK HSE, offering guidance and advice to companies on how to protect their assets from both unintentional and intentional Cyber Threats.

Emerson will present an overview of some of the more prominent standards both from Europe and the US as well as taking an in depth look at the HSE Guidelines to offer advice on how to ensure your Automation and Safety systems are protected in depth against threats that may cause injury to people, and/or damage to the environment, assets and your reputation.

About the Speakers

Rob Sharrock has over 30 year’s experience in Automation Engineering following on from an early career in defence engineering working on the development of Military Radar systems. For the last 15 years he has been engaged in the field of safety engineering and has in depth knowledge and experience of Safety Directives and Standards covering both the Machinery/ Manufacturing and Process Sectors as well as practical experience in the deployment of Safety Systems in a variety of industries.  Rob joined Emerson four years ago as Business Development Manager for Safety Instrumented Systems across the UK and Ireland.

Ben Worthy has worked for many years with Emerson, first as a control systems engineer, then qualifying through Emerson’s internal competency scheme as an SIS Lead Engineer, delivering several projects for UK process industry customers. A couple of year ago, Ben switched career directions to focus more on communications networks around automation systems, including wireless networks, and has recently become one of Emerson’s Cyber Security consultants.

Andy Crosland has worked for almost 30 years in process automation and safety systems, and qualified some years back as a TÜV FS Eng. Focused entirely on helping customers get the most from Emerson’s own Safety Instrumented Systems, Andy meets a variety of customers all over Europe and works to feed back their concerns and requirements to Emerson’s technology and services organisation.

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