Industrial facilities in India, particularly the power sector, are showing early signs of higher demand for cyber security systems as operations increasingly turn digital.
Engineering companies say such systems are mostly being provided now as an added service in the operations and maintenance segment.
"Awareness about cyber security has increased in industries and power utilities in recent years. This has been driven by the increasing integration of information technology and the Internet of Things in an age of connected devices and the energy revolution. While it is still too early to speak about volumes of such opportunities, the way the industry and utilities are moving forward, the range of play will only increase," said Akilur Rahman, chief technology officer at ABB India.
Last week, Siemens India said it would provide cyber security solutions for CLP India's power plant automation system. This was not the sole instance. "As you go for digitalisation, as more and more become internet-based, cyber security is going to be a big issue. Therefore, it is now the backbone of the digital solutions we are offering to our customers," said Sunil Mathur, managing director, Siemens India.
Engineering companies, which also provide digital solutions, add this could be a start of a larger trend.
The power sector has particularly been showing more interest in these. "There has been a rise in cyber security projects from the power sector in the past one year, as there is an increasing understanding that energy can also be under threat. Of the various aspects of the power value chain, distributed control systems, load dispatch control systems and main grid related controls need to be secured most," said M S Unnikrishnan, chief executive officer, Thermax.
Company officials add that demand for cyber security systems is being seen for not only newer projects but existing facilities.
"In addition to cyber crimes, in sectors like power, where a huge amount of foreign equipment is involved, and energy being critical for any country, such security systems are being pushed from the larger national security point of view," said an industry source who did not wish to be identified.
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