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Siemens and VTT begin cooperation to improve the information security of industry



Siemens and VTT have entered into a cooperation agreement aimed at improving the information security of Finnish industry. As a result, the agreement will allow Siemens to offer its industrial services as part of VTT’s information security analysis. (Siemens press release on 16th August 2011)

VTT carries out the analysis independently, utilising the systems knowledge of Siemens experts when necessary. The analysis comprises an extensive study of the level of information security at a production facility; for example user management, backup copying and network security.

“We are cooperating in order to improve the level and awareness of information security within Finnish industry. We have years of experience in critical research of infrastructure and information security of industrial automation, while Siemens is a leading supplier of industrial automation both in Finland and worldwide. For this reason, we consider this cooperation fruitful”, says Matti Mantere from VTT.

Siemens provides solutions to challenges identified in VTT’s analysis.

“There are major differences between the information security of a regular office network and automation. Consequently, it is sensible to take care of automation information security in cooperation with an expert supplier. As experts, we can help industry to better prepare for information security threats,” says Petri Auramo, Service Manager at Siemens.

For years, Siemens has invested heavily in the information security of industry. The company has its own information security centre, where threats such as viruses are researched. The company always tests its own automation systems against information security threats.

For its part, VTT has surveyed the state of the information security of Finnish industry in the TITAN project of the Security Programme of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, according to which there is considerable room for improvement in information security.

“No single measure will secure the state of the information security in the Finnish automation industry as a whole. Ensuring competitiveness and operational ability in future requires increasing openness and multilateral communications, for example among operators, hardware and software vendors, automation system suppliers, customers, regulators and even consumers,” recounts Pasi Ahonen from VTT.

“It is possible that it is not yet widely understood throughout industry that information security risks also affect them. These threats are real, however. If, for example, production is disrupted as a result of insufficient information security, it will be costly to the company," Auramo reflects.

VTT and Siemens agree that now is the time to hear the wakeup call concerning information security matters.

“Information security threats can be prevented and their effects minimised. However, this requires cooperation between multiple parties and information on the current information security situation,” says Matti Mantere from VTT.

Siemens In Finland, Siemens offers innovative technologies and expert services for the industry, energy and healthcare sectors. Siemens companies operating in Finland include Siemens Osakeyhtiö, Siemens Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Siemens IT Solutions and Services Osakeyhtiö, Oy Osram Ab and Siemens Financial Services. Siemens Osakeyhtiö also has regional offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. BSH Kodinkoneet Oy and Nokia Siemens Networks also operate in Finland, both companies are 50 per cent owned by Siemens. Siemens Osakeyhtiö's turnover in Finland and the Baltic Countries is slightly under EUR 300 million, with around 650 employees. Siemens AG’s turnover is EUR 78.7 billion, with around 405 000 employees. Siemens operates in around 190 countries.