Process Management Academy 2011 Safety and Energy Efficiency in Focus

Editor: Marion Henig

The Process Management Academy (PMA) 2011 attracted roughly 100 participants from the process industries. The event included a special Safety and Security workshop, followed by the executive round table, both were with invitation only events. The PMA lectures focused on the topics of safety and energy efficiency.

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For the first time there was a workshop at the Process Management Academy. The topic was IT Security and how to handle the threats of digital weapons attacking automation systems. Erwin Kruschitz, managing director and person in charge for GMP and IT-Security Assessments at his company Anapur, gave a short introduction. (Picture: M. Henig / PROCESS)
For the first time there was a workshop at the Process Management Academy. The topic was IT Security and how to handle the threats of digital weapons attacking automation systems. Erwin Kruschitz, managing director and person in charge for GMP and IT-Security Assessments at his company Anapur, gave a short introduction. (Picture: M. Henig / PROCESS)

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If there is one conclusion to draw from the IT security workshop at ARC's Process Management Academy (PMA), it is the following: IT security of automation systems is a topic that is urgent, so urgent that suppliers and end users seemed to be paralyzed when it comes to communication. One event that changed the rules of the game was the industrial virus "Stuxnet" - a phenomenon so present that time could be divided into "before" and "after Stuxnet". Now, we are in the year 1 after Stuxnet. Before Stuxnet, the monetary value of IT security was hard to justify, since unlike in process safety there is no clear probability of entrance. “After Stuxnet our board, which never talked about automation, called me on that issue”, said an end user during the discussion, and suddenly IT security moved up in the priority list.

End users are typically confronted with the following steps when they im-plement an security system.

  • Rank and evaluate all potential hazards (from human factors to technology)
  • Decide how to measure potential danger (from safety to downtime)
  • Think about their reaction (from buying hardware to train employees)
  • Think about how to isolate the effects of potential incidents.

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