Schneider Electric has joined more than a hundred other industry thought leaders and forward thinkers as a signatory to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord. Like us, these companies are committed to the fundamental principles that encourage and guide deeper, more productive conversations among the stakeholders who are responsible for cybersecurity solutions for our digital economy and ecosystem. Among these principles, Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatories have agreed to “partner with each other and with likeminded groups to enhance cybersecurity,” which is music to our ears.
Almost daily we see that taking on new, innovative and increasingly dangerous threats can’t be limited to a single company, industry or region. When it comes to cybersecurity, many companies are very conservative– sometimes for good reasons– but that needs to change. At Schneider Electric, we believe the most effective way to change global cyber culture is to encourage a collaborative approach.
Our approach is simple. We will collaborate to:
- Educate the ecosystem: It is an economic and social imperative to improve awareness and upgrade the technology skills necessary to take on increasingly complex, diverse threats.
- Secure the value chain: We start on the home front to improve our company’s posture and then help others to extend the same level of security vigilance across the ecosystem (from the enterprise to suppliers to partners).
- Achieve systemic impact and change: By engaging global to local, across industries, NGOs and government stakeholders, we seek to influence and help you stake a claim on the cybersecurity frontier.
Bringing together people, processes and technology to enable cybersecurity solutions
First, the best cyber defense is an educated and aware workforce. We believe in empowering employees, who are at the front lines of securing the new electric world. Establishing this “we” culture helps to connect the dots across the enterprise, fill gaps and maintain always-on vigilance. In many cases, people are the first and last lines of protection. But it’s not enough to have user manuals sitting on a shelf. This is about developing a proactive “all for one, one for all” culture. Schneider Electric embeds cybersecurity into our operations, from design to manufacturing, from delivery and commissioning to maintenance and operating.
To do that, it takes the enterprise– everyone, everywhere– to accept responsibility for cybersecurity. This also means bringing IT and OT together so they can help the entire facility or organisation– not just an area, a function or individual team– be as secure as possible. This where the “secure-by-design” approach cuts across our IoT-enabled EcoStruxure architecture. It ensures both IT and OT stakeholders have a seat at the cyber-strategy table so we can drive digital transformation with a strong cybersecurity posture in focus at all times. To learn more about creating this cyber culture, including use cases, you can check out our “Building a Cybersecurity Strategy” e-guide.
Second, one of the surest ways to identify and eliminate cyber risks is to establish and adhere to robust, standards-based best practices and processes. This will ensure management and governance of the most critical levers that ensure business continuity. For any company, a perimeter defense is not enough. Because everyone is connected constantly– from our homes to our smartphones and across the distributed enterprise network– a layered approach is essential. For example, the NIST framework, an incredibly useful reference, defines different levels of defense, from identifying risks to recovering from incidents (resilience). For us, cybersecurity solutions cut across silos, divisions and business units and goes through consistent, regular risk and threat assessments and gap analyses.
Third, while it is not a silver bullet, technology is crucial. Digital offers, platforms, products and industrial equipment allow prevention, detection and response at scale, for example through partners like Claroty, whose OT monitoring helps us better protect our customers’ environments. In addition to advanced automation technologies, we offer OEMs such as Berto Coffee Roaster EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, a cloud-connected service that delivers remote monitoring capabilities for Berto’s specialised roasting machines. Plus connected digital services based on data provide the ability to monitor fleets of specialised machines worldwide, competitively grow the OEM service business and even enable the pivot toward new business models such as machine/equipment uptime-as-a-service models.
Similarly, through Schneider Electric Exchange (our digital business platform and ecosystem), everyone is able create, collaborate and scale new offers, including in the cybersecurity space. For example, Base Sistemas was seeking defensive cybersecurity measures for its client’s global petrochemical plants. Through Schneider Electric Exchange, Base Sistemas was connected with Enigmedia, whose cybersecurity offer closed the deal, and they were seamlessly connected.
Our collaborative momentum with the Cybersecurity Tech Accord
As you can see, we firmly believe that succeeding as a digital company requires working across an extended, open, digital ecosystem. Schneider Electric is proud to be a founding member of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance; we’re proud to be a member of the Cybersecurity Coalition; and today we are especially proud to be a signatory to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord.
Alongside us in this endeavor are some prominent partners, such as Cisco and Microsoft, who have been at the forefront of cybersecurity innovation, from the edge to the cloud. Working together with these and other ecosystem partners allows us to improve security for IT / OT convergence by applying IT best-practices and transferring to OT applications.
“Today, as we celebrate becoming one the newest signatories to the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, we encourage everyone to join this commitment to transparency and collaboration.”
Not only will we drive needed change, together we will develop the next-gen tools, skills and methods we need to secure and protect the digital economy.
If you would like to learn more about how cybersecurity solutions and collaboration can and should be a part of your digital strategy, I invite you to take part in our virtual event, Cyber Summit 2020, with multiple sessions on a range of cybersecurity topics. Join me and a host of other industry leaders and partners on March 17, 2020, as we discuss how strengthening security across your ecosystem is critical to your successful digital transformation. For more details and to register, please visit our Cybersecurity Virtual Academy. I look forward to speaking with you then!
Article by Christophe Blassiau, Chief Information Security Officer, Digital Security at Schneider Electric
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