Three Tips To Begin Managing Cyber Security Risks At Production Sites: Outcomes of Cefic’s latest Workshop

Cyber security at production sites - in article

In an increasingly digitalised and automated world, process safety and cyber security at production sites are quickly becoming a moving target for operators. Through the Seveso regulation, European production sites have one of the highest levels of support to manage process safety and accidents involving dangerous substances. Yet with increasing automation and remote operations, production sites must take precautions to prevent cyber-attacks.

In a hybrid workshop, organised by Cefic and the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), the European Commission joined leading companies to share the EU’s current thinking on cyber security at production sites and discuss what is needed for production sites to maximise site protection.

“It’s imperative to acknowledge that the systems responsible for ensuring safety within Seveso plants are not immune to cyber threats. The safeguarding of these critical systems against cyber-attacks is a necessity, given their significance in maintaining the integrity and safety of these plants.”

Stefan Leiner, Head of Industrial Emissions and Safety, DG ENV, European Commission

Three tips for companies to begin considering the risks of cyber security at production sites include:

  1. Integrate Cybersecurity Measures into Process Safety Protocols – Incorporate cybersecurity measures seamlessly into existing process safety protocols. Adopt a risk-based approach to identify, analyse, and mitigate cyber threats, treating them with the same gravity as physical safety hazards.
  2. Stay Informed and Collaborate with Industry and Regulatory Bodies – keep abreast of the latest developments, regulations, and best practices in both process safety and cybersecurity to ensure that your company is equipped to address emerging challenges.
  3. Embrace Digitalisation Safely and Responsibly: Invest in technologies that improve site management and safety through digitalisation, but implement these technologies with a focus on robust cybersecurity measures. Incorporate a risk-based approach for both process safety and cybersecurity, defining and analysing risks before implementing preventive measures to ensure a safe and secure operational environment.

Digitalisation offers huge opportunities to better manage our sites and improve safety, and there is no doubt that this will continue to be increasingly important. While it was agreed that Europe has a strong legislative base on safety, automatisation and digitalisation threats must be managed appropriately ensuring safe and secure management of industrial sites.

For more information about the webinar and to receive the full presentation, please contact Jean Godts, Senior Manager BREF, Cefic