Honeywell’s HCP proposition has become a flagbearer for industrial cybersecurityin India
Honeywell has attempted to make IIoT mainstream under its Make in India obligation and the result was the Honeywell Connected Plant (HCP) suite of solutions launched in 2017. Two years down the line, HCP has not only been successful but has even emerged as a frontline industrial cybersecurity defence mechanism in the country.
In particular, both the Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager and the Security Media Exchange help in building this security mechanism. Cyber Security Risk Manager provides a single view for operations, IT and leadership teams to monitor, measure and manage cyber security across the enterprise. The Secure Media Exchange (SMX) gives organizations control and visibility into the secure use of USB and removable storage by personnel and contractors alike. “This particularly helps in remote environments oil and gas companies normally work and reduce cyber risk to process control networks globally,” informed Ashish M. Gaikwad, Managing Director, Honeywell Automation India and Country Leader, Honeywell Process Solutions.
The security portfolio of HCP was further beefed up with Honeywell’s acquisition of Nextnine in 2017. The addition of Nextnine’s security solutions and secure remote service capabilities enhanced Honeywell’s existing range of cyber security technologies. Nextnine’s flagship technology, ICS Shield, that protects industrial sites from cyber security attacks and enables remote monitoring of assets has complemented Honeywell’s extensive cyber security portfolio. The result is a significant increase in HCP’s cyber security customer base—more than 6,200 sites added globally across the oil and gas, utility, chemical, mining and manufacturing sectors.
It would be presumptuous though to assume that HCP starts and ends only with its security solutions. Honeywell Trace is a change management software that helps customers maintain industrial control system integrity by replacing paper-based records and spreadsheets with an automated solution. This helps minimize errors due to changes in configurations, improve worker productivity, and simplify automation asset management by providing a single integrated view of complex system interactions.
On the other hand, the expanded Uniformance Suite software provides real-time digital intelligence through advanced process and event data collection, asset-centric analytics and powerful visualization technology. What this does has till now been mostly uncharted territories in oil and gas environments. Uniformance helps turn plant data into actionable insights to enable smart operations. These HCP applications leverage on IIoT to tap Honeywell’s process knowledge, design expertise and understanding of catalysis with next-generation software platforms from Honeywell Process Solutions.
The ArmGuard system is another critical HCP remote monitoring service that helps natural gas processors manage the adsorbents that are used to remove water from natural gas. ArmGuard uses existing instrumentation to help customers optimize their adsorption cycles, reduce energy consumption, operate under variable feed conditions and reduce costs due to unscheduled shutdowns (a common phenomenon in oil & gas plants). “The more effectively you can manage your adsorption system, the more effectively you can keep the unit on-stream and operating profitability,” informed Gaikwad.
Large oil & gas companies in India including Reliance are already in the HCP client roster. This success, according to Gaikwad, has been a result of Honeywell’s three-pronged strategy. One is a wider collaboration with the overall industrial ecosystem primarily for evangelization and awareness perspectives. Inorganic growth through acquisitions like Nextnine helped Honeywell expand the length and breadth of its portfolio. And last but not the least, setting up industrial cyber security CoEs (now in Atlanta, Dubai and Singapore) have also helped in the era when industrial control systems faced attacks from the likes of Stuxnet, Aurora, NotPetya, and Havex.
While SMEs are not yet the focus segment for HCP, things could change especially with the Sentient ecosystem, believes Gaikwad. Sentient is a cloud based platform that can accommodate OEM partners. About 15 to 20 global OEMs we are already part of Sentient and they will eventually leverage the economics of the scheme by dividing the multiple SMEs in a particular area. This will help bring some of the services which are now exclusively available for bigger customers.