Honeywell has launched its first industrial cybersecurity centre of excellence (COE) at its Middle East headquarters in Dubai. The new COE is a technology centre with a safe off-process environment to test and demonstrate process control network vulnerabilities and threats, train customers with real-time attack simulations and provide advanced customer consultations, said the firm.
According to Honeywell, the COE demonstrates its commitment to address the industrial cybersecurity needs of customers in the Middle East region by leveraging globally proven expertise, technology and solutions. This investment comes in support of regional government initiatives such as the Dubai Cybersecurity Strategy, aiming to strengthen cybersecurity defences amid growing digital transformation across industries. The new centre will support a rapidly developing Middle East cybersecurity market.
“This COE is the first of its kind dedicated to developing world-class industrial cybersecurity expertise for our customers in the region,” said Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security. “It provides a safe, real-world environment to learn in, allowing us to innovate and augment industrial cybersecurity skills. The centre is also a critical part of Honeywell’s network of global cybersecurity COEs dedicated to improving industrial cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, information technology and operational technology (IT/OT) convergence and digital transformation.”
The centre contains distributed control systems, a physical plant process and the latest industrial cybersecurity software and solutions. It includes data analytics and networking equipment capable of supporting unique training sessions, demonstrations, workshops, and cyber-attack simulations, said the firm.
The facility is led by a full-time operations team with deep industrial cybersecurity expertise and operational technology knowledge fundamental to help customers stay ahead of cyber threats.
“As threats to industrial control environments become more sophisticated, it will be crucial to train the workforce of the industry for effective cybersecurity implementation,” said Safdar Akhtar, business development director of Industrial Cyber Security for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Honeywell Process Solutions. “At the centre, we are able to demonstrate cybersecurity solutions and controls in attack scenarios to show which of them are most effective at combatting various attacks.”
The centre was inaugurated by Jeff Zindel during a launch event that showcased the solutions within the COE, followed by a demonstration of real-time cyber-attack scenarios and the effectiveness of advanced cybersecurity controls.