Supplying the brewing, food and beverage industry.

Cyber Security in Operational Technology (OT) for Business Leaders

This Event has been organised and hosted by the Food and Drink Engineering  Committee (FDEC) of the IMechE  Process Industries Division and promoted across the Division, the Centres in the North West and Yorkshire Regions , the Aberdeen Area, the North East Region and the Midlands, all part of the Process Industries Community.

The food and drink sector is a vital part of the UK economy and is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, comprising 17% of total UK manufacturing turnover in 2021. Its outputs include primary production such as, flour, yeast and sugar; and secondary production, eg. bread, dairy, canned foods and drinks, preprepared meals, confectionary, etc. With these outputs it feeds the nation and provides exports.

The nature of the food industry, as both business and as an essential contributor to a country’s food security, means that it can be of interest with those of malevolent intent. Motivations can range from ransom ware to interstate interference to essential infrastructure.

Increasingly cyber security is affecting the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that sit at the heart of manufacturing processes, sometimes referred to Operational Technology (OT) in addition to the more traditionally targeted Information Technology (IT) systems.

The increasing interconnectivity between IT and OT systems, the growing use of generic communication protocols within OT and an increasing understanding of the vulnerability of OT by those of ill intent is leading to higher levels of concern, within both governments and businesses, about cyber security within OT systems.

This event is aimed at senior business leadership. It will explain:

· the nature of the cyber security risk,

· the differences between IT and OT systems and why they require a related but different approach to cyber security,

· a high-level introduction to the international standards affecting this area,

· the effects of both UK and EU legislation that will require both end users and integrators to take action, and

· the types of action to be taken and how this will affect the on-going governance of manufacturing businesses.

NOTE: Two further events are planned: one aimed at engineering leadership within food companies and the second at engineering leadership within the integrators that design, engineer and manufacture the OT systems used by the food industry. These two events will cover more detail behind the required governance, standards, competence and skills, cyber protection technologies and the management processes required for both the maintenance of existing assets and installation of new assets.

This event is also advertised via LinkedIn, please share with your social networks. Event is open to members and nonmembers.