Complex Made Simple

Kuwait’s 1st Industrial Automation Security Conference concludes

The First Kuwait Industrial Automation & Control Systems Cyber Security Conference (KIACS Cyber Security Conference 2014), organized by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) & Subsidiaries and EQUATE Petrochemical Company, concluded its activities.

The conference which was held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Ali Al-Omair, Minister of Oil, State Minister for National Assembly Affairs and KPC Board Chairman, and with the attendance of delegates from Saudi Aramco, SABIC and Petro Rabigh, addressed the technical challenges that face the industrial sector, particularly within the oil sector, as well as the ways to deal with the threats facing the cyber security of industrial control systems and how to develop best practices and solutions.

During panels discussions and addresses by experts and professionals from around the world, several key topics were highlighted, including: how to develop an encompassing strategy to face the mutual threats facing industries regionally and internationally, the ways to spread awareness regarding the importance of protecting industrial automation and control systems from cyber threat and the need to protect the basic infrastructure for economic security.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Al-Omair said, “Launching the First Kuwait Industrial Automation & Control Systems Cyber Security Conference (KIACS Cyber Security Conference 2014) is definitely a step on the right path to tackle various challenges and address the latest developments that serve the sustainability of all relevant sectors, through collaboration, coordination, leveraging expertise and exchanging views, for the benefit of the Kuwaiti and global industries as a whole”

Nizar Al-Adsani, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, said in his introductory speech: “Since its inception in 1980, KPC has set itself to be one of the global leaders in its business fields, and being the mother company for several multi-functional entities has made facing arising challenges a must, not only to ensure business continuity, but also to safeguard overall sustainability. On its own, sustainability is a simple word, yet the essence of it lies in making all elements work together in harmony, and the focus of this conference gathering us today is the harmony of our much valued and treasured Industrial Control Systems (ICS), which constitute the critical infrastructure and backbone of our industries.”

He also added, “I truly believe we, together, have an opportunity to make a positive difference through this event, a distinguished difference that helps in building proper constructive awareness and understandings about ICS, its challenges, its best practices, implementation methodologies and solutions.”

In his own welcome address at the opening ceremony, Mohammad Husain, President and CEO of EQUATE, said, “In the past, IT systems and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) were simple in comparison with current available technology in terms of hardware, software and applications. Nowadays, the matter is not only about developing an IT or an ICS solution and releasing it after thorough testing, but it is also relevant to ensuring its overall security, reliability and other matters.”

More than 75 local, regional & international companies took part with over 400 executives and professionals attended the conference, to address key matters relevant to industrial control systems (ICS) in the energy sectors of oil, gas and petrochemicals to increase awareness, share knowledge, counter threats, address arising challenges and other relevant topics.

The two-day conference included panel discussions, expert presentations and specialized workshops with the participation of over 20 senior officials and expert professional from around the world. The conference also included an exhibition where top technology and cyber security firms from around the world presented the latest advances in devices and software.