5 Ways to Improve Personal Security during Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month in both the United States and Canada. In preparation for Cyber Security Awareness Month, we will be looking at why and how five fairly simple tactics can help improve your personal cyber security posture against the threats faced in 2015. Cimation is highly focused on Industrial Automation and Control System (IACS) Cyber Security (ICS Cyber Security) and critical infrastructure Cyber Security. However, we recognize that people are the weakest link any Cyber Security paradigm. Educating your workforce, encouraging them to be cyber aware, and ensuring that they employ cyber secure practices in their day-to-day activities is an important part of reducing cyber risk.

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How to Establish a Sustainable Life Cycle Measurement Program

Flow measurement is critically important to the energy industry. The process of accurately measuring the flow of produced oil and gas products – whether they are liquid hydrocarbons or gas – is of fundamental importance to all oil and gas companies, upstream midstream, and downstream alike. After all, it is by measuring and recording product volumes and analyzing samples for quality that companies determine their selling prices and ultimately make money. No matter the market price of oil, companies cannot monetize their products without first quantifying them.

A comprehensive Measurement Program is designed to optimize a company’s investments over the life cycle of their asset rather than only when things go wrong. Many times, organizations aren’t even aware that there is an issue until an ugly problem rears its head, and often these issues could have been avoided through regular system calibration and maintenance checks.  A Life Cycle Measurement Programs is also designed to maintain existing infrastructure over the entire life cycle of the asset, reducing unexpected and costly system issues, decreasing the risk for unscheduled downtime, and ensuring accurate measurement to protect revenue and guard against accidental losses. 

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The Pros and Cons of Modbus

Since its introduction in the late-1970s, Modbus has been the most widely used network protocol in the world. Commonly deployed in industrial settings, the Modbus messaging structure uses a basic master-slave concept to connect devices, sensors, and instruments with programmable logic controllers (PLCs), Remote Terminal Units (RTUs), or other controllers. The master has full communication on the bus, recording output and reading inputs from its slaves, which only respond when spoken to.

As is the case with any communications protocol, Modbus has distinct advantages and disadvantages that make it more or less suitable for use in specific applications. Because operators today have a wide range of protocol options to choose from (EtherNet/IP, PROFIBUS, ControlNet, etc.), understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each option is critical to making the proper selection.
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Shell Selects Cimation for Global Cybersecurity Program Roll-Out

Houston, TX – [For Immediate Release]

Cimation has been selected by Shell as a key provider of industrial cybersecurity consulting, network engineering, endpoint remediation, and system hardening for the Shell Process Control Domain (PCD) IT Security Program, a global program to standardize cybersecurity technology and processes across the company’s global assets.

Cimation, an operations consulting company focused on industrial control system (ICS) security, will assist in the planning, deployment, and commissioning of the multi-year program in collaboration with other Shell suppliers.  Currently, Cimation’s industrial control system cybersecurity experts hold key delivery and technical roles on the Shell PCD IT Security Program team.

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Cimation Celebrates Its 4th Year Among the Inc. 5000

Yesterday, Inc. magazine ranked Cimation number #1342 on its 34th annual Inc. 5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. In today’s volatile market, the list offers unique insight into one of the most influential segments of the economy – America’s independent entrepreneurs. Many of the most important companies of the past several decades have found themselves a part of the Inc. 5000 list including LinkedIn, Dell, Pandora, and others.

In spite of this year’s tumultuous oil and gas market, Cimation has proven that it’s here to stay, making the list again for the fourth year in a row. With three-year growth of 309% and the addition of 146 new jobs between 2011 and 2014, Cimation continues to demonstrate how unique vision and dedication to excellence can result in tremendous success. Cimation also came in #32 on the list of fastest growing Energy businesses and #31 among the fastest growing Houston-based companies.

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What Oracle CSO’s Rant Means for ICS Cyber Security: Need for Crowdsourcing and Information Sharing

According to most of today’s technology publications, companies in a variety of industries have seen a huge shift in IT priorities as cyber security objectives rise to the top of the list. According to a survey conducted earlier this year by Smartgridnews.com, more than 80% of 1000 respondents (most of whom were Chief Information Officers and IT executives) saw mitigating and combating security risks as some of their top priorities for 2015. With breaches of prestigious (and presumably secure) organizations like the recent IRS ‘Get Transcript’ hack continuing to make headlines, companies in virtually every industry (even those seen as inherently secure or at a low risk for cyber incidents) are making cyber security a top priority, even by executives without the word ‘security’ in their title.

So, one would think that the Chief Security Officer of a software company that by nature is charged with protecting some of its clients’ most important data would be a key advocate for practices that aim at making their product more secure. Right?

Well apparently, we were wrong.

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3 Steps to Ensuring Flow Meter Accuracy

In everyday conversation, the word ‘flow’ is often used to indicate something natural, organic, and uncontrolled. Take the phrase ‘go with the flow,’ which means to be flexible, laid-back, easy going, malleable. But in oil and gas and many other industries, ‘flow’ is quite the opposite. It is something to be contained, controlled, carefully monitored, and quantified. After all, products like oil or gas that ‘flow’ through a pipeline or into a tank are the lifeblood of any oil and gas business, making the flow meters responsible for quantifying those products the business’s cash registers. 

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Global Petroleum Show Recap: Reducing Opportunity Cost of Energy Production with Industrial Cyber Security

The Global Petroleum Show is an annual meeting place for leaders in the global oil and gas industry. Since 1968, GPS has been heralded as one of the largest energy events bringing together global producers, EPC’s, service companies, and suppliers to highlight the latest market and technology trends in the industry.With cyber security concerns on the rise, the Global Petroleum Show has taken to highlighting cyber security information specifically for industrial and SCADA security professionals seeking to shore up their assets against the impending threat.

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Industry News: Oil & Gas Spending Cuts Lower Than Expected, Crude Prices Rebound

In response to the decline in oil and gas prices, many companies are cutting back on spending, including IT spending. However, according to a recent survey by IDC Energy Insights, the cuts are lower than many expected. Also, as of this week, crude oil prices on the New York and London markets regained some ground. Additional research reports have found that oil and gas data management market is expected to grow from $6.08 Billion in 2015 to $21.22 Billion. Find out more about all the latest reports and research in this week’s industry news round-up.

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Industry News: Boom & Bust in Two Texas Towns, Cloud Security Vulnerabilities

It’s a tale of two Texas towns. They’re only 38 miles apart, yet one is still booming while the other struggles on the fringe. In this week’s industry news find out how the current landscape of the shale oil industry is affecting the various towns and states throughout the country. Also, learn the top questions you need to ask when it comes to your company and cloud computing. Find out which vulnerability could shatter cloud security. And do you know which tiny nation could have huge oil and gas potential?

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