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Honeywell: cyber security on the agenda at Users Group 2016


The Honeywell User Group talks to customers in the Netherlands about its future plans and latest technologies, focusing on the industrial internet of things (IIoT), cloud engineering and cyber security  

The Honeywell User Group (HUG) EMEA, 24-27 October 2016, presented Honeywell customers the next generation of virtual technologies centred around their ethos of 'evolution, not revolution.' We we able to speak to Safdar Akhtar, Honeywell Process Solution's business leader in MEA and APAC. We talked to him about Pulse, Honeywell's app based alert system, which allows managers to respond in a faster time, and how this affects the safety of plants in a cyber security capacity. 

When you look at Pulse and the connectivity between what is happening on site and it all going to peoples mobile phones, for Honeywell, is that another line that you have to secure or can you develop it in such a way that the information is useless to a hacker? And is this different in Africa? Because the continent is so networked.  

Okay, well three or four things, it's not just mobile, right? Do you have a USB on you? 

Yes, I keep one in my wallet. 

Everybody has one. Including, my 14 year old daughter! Mobile is one way, but this is the most carried medium on the earth, a USB, of every age. If I wanted to send you a picture for example, I just download it and give it to you and without thinking you can inject it into a wired computer. So people have these USB and where the plant is available so that is another way of doing it. USBs, mobile phones, any transmitting devices, they are not allowed in Middle East and Africa is going to same way.

What are the most common techniques used in committing cyber crimes? Is there a formula or is it always changing? 

It is always changing. The technology is continually evolving. Education from hackers site is continuously increasing so when in 2010/2011 attacks, these plants got attacked, they got attacked for a very simple reason. Because, as we just talked about it, people did not use their username and password, so if I am connected in or really want to attack you all I have to do is google that equipment and get that username and password and I am inside your system. So, but those times have passed. Now is totally different times. So people are carrying lots of these transmitting devices like mobile phones, other devices, gaming devices, so that means you have more ways to communicate with that system. So, the programme that we are, Honeywell are providing a full programme there to make sure that we are maturing not just from a technology perspective but also enhancing peoples knowledge and help them to right these processes.

More from the Honeywell User Group can be found here