Yokogawa: A Suit of Armor Around Your Systems

Matthew Malone
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While we roam around the streets, lanes, and boulevards of the Internet, we sometimes forget how dangerous they can be. Hackers are like video cameras set everywhere looking for the perfect chance to capture your information. Cases of identities, documents, and credentials being leaked are all too common. Even after several steps of verification, security, and confidentiality, security systems still lack complete protection.

Because of a broad variety of security concerns and cyberattacks, cybersecurity is crucial in today’s environment. Many businesses create software for data protection. The software shields the data. Cybersecurity is critical since it protects our systems from virus attacks and helps secure information.

The world has around 4.9 billion people who use the Internet regularly. For those 4.9 billion users, the need of the hour is reliable and efficient cybersecurity systems—systems that can enable and provide protection from today’s vast array of cyber threats.

Yokogawa offers a full range of cybersecurity products for OT and IT networks. They believe every cybersecurity program starts with a risk analysis that can assess all threats and the full exposure profile. The company provides systems that can estimate the level of financial risk a business or facility faces from a cyberattack. Companies that use automation, distributed control, and other OT technologies to create their products have found great success with this kind of corporate planning tool.

Leading With a Legacy

When Matthew Malone takes step after step toward his and the company’s goals, he walks with the legacy of a company that was founded over one hundred years ago. Currently the Cybersecurity Consultant at Yokogawa, he is a Texas A&M University Graduate. Matt started his career as a commissioned officer in the US Navy. There is a stark contrast between the career path he currently leads and the one he started. He served in the US Navy for eight years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer. He later transitioned to project manager for the automation industry, which is where cybersecurity caught his attention.

While studying for his master’s degree, he made a decision for himself by focusing his thesis on cybersecurity adoption in automation. He was a certified Industrial Control System Cybersecurity Professional (GICSP) by the time he graduated. At that point, he was asked to onboard at Yokogawa as a cybersecurity consultant for their clients in North America.

Due to the widespread use of the Internet today, cybersecurity is among the critical issues worldwide. The threat of cybersecurity attacks extends from personal security to that of companies to the security of an entire nation. To ensure that computer systems and network security settings remain malware- and virus-free, private citizens and governments must engage in partnerships to educate people about the importance of regularly updating their system and network security settings.

Then vs. Now: The Cybersecurity World

Yokogawa was first established in 1915 by Dr. Tamisuke Yokogawa. The company was founded on and continues to be motivated by technical excellence and a pioneering attitude. Yokogawa introduced the first Distributed Control System (DCS). At that time, the majority of networking hardware such as modems was analog. Over the ensuing decades, Yokogawa continuously advanced the technology for automated manufacturing. Among the results was the shift in industrial equipment from analog to digital infrastructure.

While the transition to digital technologies has provided many benefits to commercial operations, it also made OT networks more vulnerable to cyber threats. One of the first cyberattacks, Shamoon, was targeted particularly to DCSs and resulted in millions of dollars in lost production time. Engineers from Yokogawa were among the first to respond to this attack and took the lead in network recovery efforts.

Many clients have advanced past the stage where they feel that anonymity—or obscurity—will isolate them from cyberattacks on their OT networks. Managers have begun to thoughtfully plan and budget to reduce their cybersecurity exposure. Several businesses that had been unable to justify an OT cyber risk assessment are now putting solutions into practice and developing their programs.

In today’s technological age, the internet is the primary source of up-to-date information, but it is also utilized for business transactions, the sale of goods, and product advertising. Business can be conducted since it facilitates customer communication and all financial activities. The Internet also offers several benefits, such as the ability to advertise a firm globally for a minimal fee with little human effort over a shorter period.

From the Company to Customers

Yokogawa Electric has expanded its boundaries while keeping its focus set on generating cybersecurity solutions. Its evaluation and planning enable the implementation of a multi-year cybersecurity program that gradually reduces the financial risk of a cyberattack.

“As time goes by, our clients will mature from implementing one-off cybersecurity solutions to the Managed Services Suite (MSS). MSS provides a comprehensive operational and cybersecurity program that unites process control, safety, and cybersecurity into a dashboard for tracking improvements, maintenance, and system health.”

From one of Yokogawa’s numerous global Security Operations Centers, MSS furthermore offers cybersecurity monitoring services (SOC). SOC services include 24/7 assistance, threat notifications, and notifications for IT and OT network intrusion detection.

All For the Customers

Through its constant developments and updates, Yokogawa has managed to maintain healthy and loyal customer relationships that are decades long. With every service they provide, their customers are their top priority. Yokogawa follows one objective: minimize risk and maximize corporate values. This motto helps maintain and reinforce a trustworthy image for their clients as they choose values over risks. Having long-term, stable, and secure operations is their number-one goal and drives every decision. The company places full emphasis on the importance of customer feedback. It allows them to continuously improve their suite of services and technology.  

Facing Challenges in the Field and the Workspace

One of the key challenges for companies such as Yokogawa is an increase in emerging technology start-ups. While a company that has been established for decades should command many advantages, start-ups in the same field can present changes in market dynamics.

Often, a new entrant to the market offers lower, “market penetration” pricing and faster time-to-market for new products. However, the pricing may not be sustainable and the new product releases could include inherent risks in terms of quality and reliability. This is typically the time for the established company to be sure to reinforce its values. For example, the Yokogawa cybersecurity team never releases or ships products before they are thoroughly tested in the company’s state-of-the-art lab in Singapore.

A strong value base is critical. Yokogawa’s core values are respect, value creation, collaboration, integrity, and gratitude. Criticism and disagreements in the workplace happen, but the employees embody the core values of respect, collaboration, and integrity to protect everyone’s dignity while finding a solution that creates value for the company and, most importantly, the clients.

Future Plans

Yokogawa plans to significantly expand its cybersecurity solutions in terms of breadth and scope. The company will continue developing new products while enhancing the existing portfolio along the way.

The IT/OT/SOC project is something the staff particularly looks forward to. It is a combined service to monitor both the enterprise and industrial networks for clients. Per their previous techniques, clients had to choose between IT and OT. But with this little “trick up their sleeves,” that problem can be tackled, and light can be focused on both areas. Yokogawa has developed its cybersecurity practices and processes to merge this critical enterprise need to reduce cyber risk across all digital domains.

A Message to Future Leaders

Matt is adamant about working hard. His number one tip for success is to never give up. The best advice he has received is “failure is allowed, getting up is mandatory.” The message is strong and always prominent in mind.

With his experience as a leader, he always values people and emphasizes the importance of really knowing them. “All the mission statements, business plans, and technology ideas won’t matter if the people you lead don’t think you care about them.” He adds, “know your people, they are your best asset.”

Fortunes Crown

Fortunes Crown

Fortunes crown seeks to inspire, inform and celebrate businesses. We help entrepreneurs, business owners, influencers, and experts by covering their products and services. We, as an online publication always inclined to feature companies of all sizes.

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