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13 July, 2024

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Software will identify vulnerable production assets automatically

09 April, 2024

At this month’s Hannover Messe, Siemens will be previewing a new SaaS (software-as-a-service) designed to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities rapidly in factories. The cloud-based Sinec Security Guard offers automated vulnerability mapping and security management optimised for operators in OT environments.

The software can assign known cybersecurity vulnerabilities automatically to production assets. This will allow industrial operators and automation experts without dedicated cybersecurity expertise to identify cybersecurity risks in their OT assets and receive risk-based threat analyses.

The software then recommends and prioritises mitigation measures. Defined mitigation measures can also be planned and tracked by the tool’s built-in task management. The SaaS product will be hosted by Siemens, and it will be available from July 2024 on the Siemens Xcelerator Marketplace and on the Siemens Digital Exchange.

The initial release will support only Siemens OT assets, but support for third-party devices is planned for the future.

“With Sinec Security Guard, customers can focus their resources on the most urgent and relevant vulnerabilities, while having full risk transparency in their factory,” says Dirk Didascalou, chief technology officer of Siemens Digital Industries. “It is unique because it takes the specific situation of the customer’s operational environment into consideration while providing a single pane of glass for security-relevant information in the OT area. When developing the Sinec Security Guard, we drew on our extensive experience with cybersecurity in our own factories.”

Currently, industrial operators have to safeguard production assets continuously on their shop floors. They need to analyse vendor security advisories, match them to their factory’s assets, and prioritise mitigation measures. This process is time-consuming and error-prone using existing tools, so factories risk missing critical vulnerabilities or producing false positives. This can lead to incorrectly configured plant components and inadequately allocated resources. Siemens argues that with the new SaaS, operators will be able to tackle these challenges without needing in-depth cybersecurity knowledge.

It will also be possible to connect Sinec Security Guard to Microsoft’s Sentinel Security Information and Event Management product for proactive threat detection, investigation and response. Once connected, the SaaS can send alerts for security events, including attacks, to Sentinel, allowing security analysts to incorporate insights and conclusions into their investigations and responses with Sentinel-powered security operations centres.

Siemens’ cloud-based Sinec Security Guard will allow industrial users to match cybersecurity vulnerabilities to their OT assets, prioritise them and implement appropriate mitigation measures

“As IT and OT systems continue to converge, a holistic cybersecurity architecture is key to protecting IT and OT capabilities alike,” says Ulrich Homann, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for the cloud and AI. “By combining our domain knowledge, Siemens and Microsoft make it easier for industrial operators to efficiently detect and address cybersecurity threats at scale.”

Sinec Security Guard also supports manual uploading of existing asset information. Siemens recommends, however, that operators use its Industrial Asset Hub cloud-based asset management system for continuous automated asset inventory management.

Functions also include signature-based network intrusion and attack detection via the Sinec Security Guard Sensor – an industrial edge app that gives live information about industrial networks.

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