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Unified Operational Environment Improves Process Safety

By Wataru Nakagawa, Eugene Spiropoulos |

A unified gateway station and related components increase availability to improve operations and safety In information technology (IT) security circles, the most important acronym is CIA: confidentiality, integrity, availability. In industrial control security, the corresponding acronym is AIC: availability, integrity, confidentiality. Availability and uptime are critical for process plants and facilities, and are also a key determinant of safety because plants that have poor availability are unsafe. High-availability plants minimize the unplanned shutdowns that can cause serious safety incidents, so both cybersecurity and process safety are dedicated to maximizing availability. In process plants, and in upstream oil-and-gas applications, such as offshore platforms or subsea wells, there is often a hybrid control system, consisting of a distributed control system (DCS), multiple programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system with remote controllers. Because of this, there has been a need for a unified operation and monitoring environment to ensure safety, security and high availability. Unifying these control systems is not always as easy as it may appear, with many plants and…
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