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Oil and the Smart Pipe – Article on The Network, Cisco, by Scott Gurvey

Scott Gurvey (the famous New York bureau chief and senior correspondent of the PBS broadcast Nightly Business Report for more than 20 years) has written a thought-provoking piece on “The Network” (Cisco’s Technology News Site).

Safety is the key in the Oil and Gas industry. Whether it’s people, infrastructure, or the environment, the industry is grappling with sometimes controversial issues.

Scott talks about the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline, new technology and the relative safety of different oil transport methods. He quotes James Stafford, the editor of Oilprice.com, as saying that even though moving oil through pipelines is generally considered safer than the alternatives of rail or truck transport, the number of pipeline accidents reported each year remains “unacceptable”

That’s where the new technologies of the Internet of Things comes in. The Operational Technologies (OT) requirements have been different to the IT needs in the past. In my view that’s because of several reasons. The different technologies used for each area gave rise to concern that folks have had about security between networks is one.

Read the latest Thought Leadership for Oil and Gas

Read the latest Thought Leadership for Oil and Gas

Another is that there was also a lack of visibility, and it was difficult for parts of an organization to collaborate with another to sense problems in real time and deliver the right resources to solve them. That’s changing as IT and OT converge. Probably not fast enough for most people’s liking, but that’s owing to the cultural changes needed.

Back to Scott’s article. I’m not going to steal his thunder on ‘Pigs’ (well, Smart Pigs, but still not the kind in your hot dog!), drones (the peaceful kind), or the Analytics challenge the industry faces today. You’ll have to read his article for that.

But I do want to give a plug for the recent thought leadership in the oil industry that Cisco recently conducted (A New Reality for Oil & Gas: Complex Market Dynamics Create Urgent Need for Digital Transformation), which I was proud to contribute to. In it the analytics issue comes to the forefront and IT/OT convergence and Collaboration are seen as essential catalysts for change, with an overarching emphasis on ensuring end-to-end cybersecurity. Read it to see the details. Some might surprise you.

As always, you can learn more about Cisco in Oil and gas here: www.cisco.com/go/oilandgas, and read the latest Secure Industrial Networks with Cisco White Paper (don’t worry, it’s only 3 pages!), by clicking on this link: Secure Industrial Networks with Cisco.

And I almost forgot – if you’re interested in Cisco’s relevance to oil pipelines and that part of the industry, here’s something to whet your appetite: Cisco Connected Pipelines At-a-Glance.

Happy reading! And remember, stay safe out there!

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Summary: A New Reality for Oil & Gas

An excellent post from Mike Riegel talks about how things have changed between the Tech industry and the Oil and Gas Industry over the past 20 years. The conversations he once had with his father-in-law who was at Mobil Oil have changed dramatically since the nineties. Oil companies are now  ‘Digitizing':

  • The Digital Age has come to the Oil industry, and despite the current downturn, the most visionary companies  will have the opportunity to transform their business models for future growth.
  • The recently released report: “A New Reality for Oil & Gas – Complex Market Dynamics Create Urgent Need for Digital Transformation” makes it clear that the move to a Digital Business and the adoption of Internet of Everything is the way forward for the industry and for the global economy.
  • IT and OT (Operational Technologies, sometimes called Automation Control Systems/ACS or Industrial Control Systems/ICS) need to become more aligned out of their silos.
  • Biggest issue the industry faces is the ‘data-deluge’ – there’s a need to do deal with sensor and other data both in real-time at the source (usually the edge of the network) and that stored away in huge historians. Analysis of historical and real-time data is an imperative.
  • The US is well positioned to be the ‘swing-producer’ in the market as a result of their agile adoption of IoE, and the successful companies will take advantage of the market dynamics to invest, whilst others will cut costs, investments and retrench, falling behind. This week at CERAWeek we’ll here from Marcel Cappetti about that (Wednesday at 11:20 AM).

Check out the full post from the IoE Blog channel here:

20 Years Hence – What Do Oil, Dating, Digital, and Analytics Have In Common?

Mike will no doubt get feed back from his father-in-law this weekend and hopefully we’ll get a report back!

As always, let us know what you think!

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Combating Cyber-Attacks Through Cyber Intelligence & Security: Part One

Hello and welcome to Part One of my new blog series discussing cyber intelligence and security around the critical infrastructure sectors in the U.S. Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and threatening to utilities, refineries, military defense systems, water treatment plants and other sectors of our critical infrastructure. Part One of this series details the dangers of cyber-attacks by state and non-state actors and how cyber intelligence can help organizations combat future cyber-attacks. Part Two will detail the role of data in cyber security and ways cyber intelligence can be gathered to further prevent attacks.

The New State of Cyber-Attacks

As technology advances so will the amount of cyber-attacks. Many companies play a vital role in their nation’s critical infrastructure and these companies are adopting digital systems to replace older, analog controls. This digitization of technology is helping operators obtain remote visibility and control over operations, including processes in refineries, the generation and transmission of power in the electrical grid, and the temperatures in nuclear cooling towers. In doing so, industrial facilities have become more efficient and productive.

However, the same digital hyper-connectivity that facility managers use to collect data and control machines and processes, also can serve as entry points for cyber attackers to get into system networks and steal or alter classified information, disrupt processes and cause damage to equipment. Many early control system breaches were random or accidental infections, but we’ve now entered a stage where kinetic attacks are becoming more prevalent, with industrial control systems becoming the object of targeted attacks.

Threats to a company’s information systems and assets could come from anywhere. State and non-state actors from around the globe are almost certainly targeting and possibly even penetrating the networks of energy providers and other critical infrastructures in the U.S. Effectively cyber criminals have loose alignment (affiliation) with state actors and now these criminals are beginning to use different methodologies, creating a huge challenge. Traditionally, we see malicious actions like zero-day attacks, Denial of Service attacks, (DoS) i.e. vulnerability attacks, bandwidth or connection flooding, stopping or delaying workflows and SQL Injections that help hackers exploit or steal data from organizations.

Read More »

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Bit Stew and Cisco collaborate to bring intelligence and automation to the digital oil field

 

I caught up with Franco Castaldini, VP, Marketing at Bit Stew Systems to talk about Bit Stew and Cisco and wanted to know about where Bit Stew are going with product offerings, industry solutions, and customer  engagements. This is what he told me:

Franco Castaldini, VP, Marketing at Bit Stew Systems

Franco Castaldini, VP, Marketing at Bit Stew Systems

“It’s an exciting time for Bit Stew Systems as we extend our heritage in utilities into new markets such as the oil and gas industry. This week, the Bit Stew team is showcasing our MIx Solutions at the Entelec Spring Conference & Expo in Houston, Texas.

Bit Stew’s transformative MIx Core™ platform manages real-time industrial data at scale, automating the ingestion process, and utilizing machine intelligence both centrally and at the edge. Our MIx Director™ application (formerly Grid Director), harnesses the power of MIx Core, by building operator workbenches to provide industry-specific data models, search, reports, dashboards and so much more. MIx Director continues to serve as a container to plug-in MIx Apps™, which offers pre-built analytics, data adapters and visualizations that solve specific use cases that improve asset and operational performance.

Bit Stew majoring in Fog Computing with Cisco’s IOx Platform

With Cisco’s IOx® technology, Cisco’s field-based hardware devices such as the Cisco Connected Grid Router (CGR) and Integrated Services Router (ISR) bring a whole new level of capabilities to market. These devices are capable of hosting a guest operating platform where companies like Bit Stew can run our own applications like never before. Bit Stew is a member of the Cisco ‘Solutions Partner’ program.

Collaboration goes Beyond ‘Big Data’ and Drives Value

Bit Stew at Entelec

Bit Stew at Entelec

Bit Stew’s MIx Core takes full advantage of Cisco’s IOx technology, by embedding its core technology inside these Cisco fog devices, providing data analysis at the edge of the network and in cloud-based systems – all in real-time. Running MIx Core in the “fog” brings a significant new advantage for organizations that are dealing with massive amounts of data running on complex networks in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This end-to-end visibility enables industrial companies to gain actionable insights from the network in order to manage risks, improve asset performance and increase uptime.

A Proven Track Record of Success

Together, Bit Stew and Cisco have worked collaboratively to bring fog technology to life at major utilities such as BC Hydro, a Canadian electric utility in the province of British Columbia, which first deployed smart meters in 2011. The successful and proven track record we have had together with utilities is now resonating with the upstream and midstream oil and gas markets. The response the Bit Stew and Cisco teams saw at Entelec this week has been exciting and we will have more to announce in the weeks ahead.

Take time to learn more about Bit Stew at www.bitstew.com and read our new blog the Bit View for more insights and commentary on the IIoT.”

Make sure you catch the interview with Bit Stew’s CEO, Kevin Collins here: Fog Computing Becomes Clearer with Cisco IOx Solution

You can read more about Bit Stew here: Cisco and Bit Stew Edge: Thought-Leadership_Cicso-and-Bit-Stew_Distributed-Intelligence-Unlocking-the-Benefits-of-the-Industrial-Internet.pdf (710 KB)

 

About Franco Castaldini
Franco Castaldini is an experienced marketing, sales and product management executive who has led go-to-market strategies for innovative startups to large global companies. Franco leads Bit Stew’s product marketing and management, marketing communications, and global go-to-market strategy for the company’s growth in the Industrial Internet market.

 

 

 

 

 

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Incidence Response – Safety, Reliability and Recovery for Industry and Workers

Dan O’Malley talks about Cisco Systems offerings that are resonating in the Energy Industry and elsewhere. Cisco helps customers pre-plan for storms and to respond to disasters with sophisticated collaboration and device connectivity enabling technologies.

Many new technologies enable worker safety and visibility using 2-way radios, smart devices, and mobile broadband “connecting people and devices and work crews together smartly over the internet”. In the video Dan talks about the challenges customers face and how Cisco is helping them get ‘positive business outcomes’.

Yes – I know what you mean – what does that really mean? Well, mother nature doesn’t always cooperate, so getting outages dealt with as quickly as possible is one positive outcome. Keeping in touch with workers, especially those in dangerous areas, and warning them if safety issues occur is another. And maybe even having ‘wearable’ biometric devices attached to workers to see how they’re doing physically, and monitoring their vitals in real time by operations centers. That’s another.

Just keeping track of field workers is a challenge – and making best use of a constrained ‘expert pool’ might be another. Some newer ‘millennial’ devices are, of course, part of the architectural approach, but so are traditional two-way radios and other devices – so that everyone can communicate and collaborate to get the job done. And it’s getting the job done that really gives good business outcomes – ask any customer!

So, in the words of Dan:

It’s about smartly connecting people, and devices and work-crews together smartly over the internet. That’s what we do.

…and providing the best business outcomes possible: Read More »

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