The First Asset: Safety and Security

The First Asset: Safety and Security

Protecting people, the environment and critical infrastructure is everyone’s goal

Industrial security is top of mind as organizations implement connected, information enabled architectures to help improve productivity, efficiency and safety. However, as industrial operations become more connected, the inherent safety implications of security risks are too often overlooked.

Connectivity brings together enterprise-level IT and plant-level operations technology systems into a common network infrastructure and more opportunities such as instantaneous information sharing and seamless collaboration across an organization. However, with more connection points, more entrance points for security threats can be created in the form of physical or digital, internal or external, and malicious or unintentional.

Workplace safety is a multifaceted issue for many manufacturers and industrial operators. It includes both machine and process safety, and is vital to protecting workers, avoiding production interruptions and achieving operational excellence. But it also comes with a number of challenges.

LNS Research shows 53 percent of manufacturing and industrial operations lack real-time visibility into EHS performance data; so how can professionals make corrections to that and create safety performance improvements?

Integrating Safety and Security Professionally

Traditionally, safety and security have been viewed as separate entities, but professional and competent companies and their specialists are able to visualize the commonality between them in the approaches used to analyze and mitigate risks.

Those manufacturers and industrial operators who want to reduce the likelihood of security based safety incidents will need to start thinking of safety and security in relation to each other.

Some best-in-class manufacturers have shared a set of practices for better understanding – the three Cs of safety and security:

Culture, Compliance, Capital

Cultural (Behavioral): For both employees and the company, their behaviors including fundamental values, priorities, attitudes, incentives and beliefs about risk and safety should be consistent. These help define how well a company embraces safety.

Compliance (Procedural): Up-to-date policies and consistent procedures that help a company achieve compliance with appropriate safety standards.

Capital (Technical): Contemporary safety technologies and techniques that help optimize both safety and productivity.

Now, organizations are able to consider how security can be ingrained into each of these core safety pillars. Here are some examples:

Culture: In addition to protecting intellectual property, processes and physical assets, security personnel must make protecting safety systems a core value in everything they do.

That makes the greater collaboration between EHS, operations and IT teams become more important. For example, the three teams should work together to develop co-managed objectives for safety and security, and to identify critical safety data requirements from plant-floor systems. And most importantly, a company-wide understanding of the relationship between security and safety is essential because a strong safety culture involves every employee.

Compliance: Compliance efforts should meet the security requirements in safety standards, such as IEC 61508 and 61511. Conversely, security efforts should follow a defense-in-depth approach. Also, it is important to address safety-related security risks at all levels of an organization.

Capital: Companies should use safety technologies with built-in security features. Likewise, they should use security technologies that both help protect against safety-system breaches and enable speedy recoveries should a breach occur.

After understanding the tight relationship between the two, companies should conduct both safety and security risk assessments and then implement a company-wide risk-management strategy to tackle the threats and vulnerabilities.

The next question is, how can professionals drive improvements in safety and security performance for their connected operations?

Smarter Safety and Security

Rockwell Automation has the right mix of safety and security expertise to help organizations address their unique security-based safety issues. Owning one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of safety solutions, including safety services such as assessments, Rockwell Automation also collaborates with Strategic Alliance partners from its PartnerNetwork®, such as Cisco, Panduit and Microsoft, to create a one-stop shop for professional industrial security needs by offering a full range of industrial security services including network products, free tools and resources.

Aiming to create seamless connectivity, The Connected Enterprise of Rockwell Automation adopts contemporary safety technologies that combine machinery and safety control into one platform. These systems are less susceptible to nuisance shutdowns than hardwired safety systems, which can maximize improvements in productivity and profitability. Professionals can use The Connected Enterprise to accelerate production and generate effective communications, and also harness the power of safety and operational data, which can substantially improve safety compliance and performance.

Insights into a Connected Enterprise

The Connected Enterprise offers accessibility to device and operational status, motion monitoring, error and stoppage codes, and other secured safety-system data. With the ability to capture and analyze massive amounts of operational data accurately and thoroughly, safety personnel who are empowered with a real-time understanding of worker behaviors, machinery compliance and system details can move from merely describing what went wrong to predicting and preventing incidents in the first place.

When professionals are taking full advantages of The Connected Enterprise, they can gain a better understanding of risks and transform company-wide operations with safety and security in mind. And therefore, safety and security can be enhanced in all aspects.

Still and all, it is important to remember that a Connected Enterprise is an ongoing journey. The technologies and opportunities within it will continue to evolve. Companies should be mindful of this and constantly seek opportunities to improve their future state.

A Holistic Approach

Getting information to workers is important, but so is getting workers to act on the information. That is why incorporating safety-system information into daily operations is critical.

For example, analytics should be included in daily production meetings, and standard procedures should be developed for collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. With these elements in place, safety professionals can monitor and refine all aspects of safety in a Connected Enterprise as part of a continuous-improvement program. This could include expanding the amount of data collected, or setting higher goals in areas such as improved visibility, fewer incident rates and reduced downtime.

Brilliant and responsible safety professionals do more than obtain better measures and meet their corporate safety goals, they confirm both safety and security in order to help protect data and uptime, infrastructures and supplies, people and environment.

With the continual evolution toward greater connectivity, today’s security and safety concerns can be daunting. Align with best industry practices and make use of the best tools, manufacturers and industrial operators can extend safety and security knowledge and management strategy from the enterprise through the plant level, and even out to end devices.

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