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Cyber security essential to storage industry

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Cyber security will be a key focus at the forthcoming StocExpo Europe conference and exhibition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The tank storage industry has its own cyber security challenges with many terminals in existence using older equipment that is often susceptible to cyber attack. Terminal owners and tank storage operators must protect their assets from cyber attacks by ensuring that their entire automation and control systems are compliant to IEC62443. This is the defacto standard for the operational technology environment worldwide.

The EU has recognised the potential threats businesses have, and as such is in the process of developing the new IACS Cyber Security Framework.

There are two major threats that terminals and tank storage companies should be aware of, namely ransomware and Denial of Service (DDos). Of course, there is also the threat of general cyber espionage to consider. On initial reading of this latter point, cyber espionage may not seem relevant to the terminal and tank storage industry until one considers that cyber criminals could use programs to manipulate and influence the stock market through interference with the production process. Of course, that in turn opens up issues of health and safety.

Today many terminal operators are taking active steps to determine the current state of cyber security in order to identify key risks. For example, establishing whether equipment, installation or control systems are directly connected to the internet without the appropriate protection.

Companies such as Hudson Cybertec often begin this process by conducting interviews looking at the organisational structure, review policies and procedures and review technology. These three pillars are important because investing in technology alone is not the answer. Speaking at the upcoming StocExpo Europe exhibition and conference, Marcel Jutte, Managing Director of Hudson Cybertec and Ruud Timmermans, Automation Engineer at VTTI, will be addressing the entire subject of cyber security as it effects the terminal and tank storage industry and will be giving best practice advice those delegates in attendance.

Several exhibitors will also be showcasing their innovative solutions, products and services focused around security and safety.

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