The new security lab at HIMA is inaugurated by (l. to r.) Matthias Ochs, CEO of genua, Steffen Philipp managing partner at HIMA, and Jörg de la Motte, CEO of HIMA. Source: HIMA

HIMA adds security lab to customer solutions center

July 10, 2023

HIMA Group reported June 30 that it’s opened a security lab in collaboration with IT security specialist genua GmbH at HIMA’s customer solutions center in Brühl, Germany. HIMA will use the lab to develop and test operations technology (OT) security solutions for digitalizing functional safety.

"The ongoing threat to critical infrastructure from cyberattacks is pervasive,” says Steffen Philipp, managing partner at HIMA. “With this new security lab, HIMA is not only supporting our customers, but also contributing to society."

Jörg de la Motte, CEO of HIMA, adds, "This is a partnership of equals. Both genua and HIMA are leaders in their fields. And as German technology companies, they share a long-term mindset.”

As part of their cooperation, HIMA and genua will use the security lab to demonstrate data diode applications, which are prerequisites for ensuring highly secure and feasible implementation of the pioneering NAMUR user association’s Open Architecture (NOA). As a subsidiary of Bundesdruckerei Group, genua’s technologies comply with NAMUR’s recommendations.

"We’re delighted to further expand our partnership with HIMA by working together on the new security lab,” adds Matthias Ochs, CEO of genua. “As trusted partners, we take a holistic approach to security. This lets us deliver what the market needs, including security solutions that meet the highest standards, and are tailormade for companies operating in the process and railway industries."

To develop and test security scenarios under real-life conditions, HIMA reports the security lab has initiated the “Security Environment for Functional Safety” architecture, which uses solutions from genua. HIMA is also planning to open set another security lab at its Asia-Pacific Customer Solutions Center in Singapore.

"The security lab lets visitors experience our solutions firsthand, “adds Sergej Arent, applications director at HIMA, who is responsible for the customer solutions center. “The Security Environment for Functional Safety can be combined with various security zones, making it possible to simulate, optimize and test all scenarios. It’s a lab full of opportunities for beginners and experts."

The integration the security lab in HIMA's customer solutions center will facilitate future analysis of customers’ automation networks, including conducting cybersecurity hazardous operations (cyber HAZOP) surveys and assessments. Their results will help derive measures and develop templates for security solutions. HIMA’s team of safety and security specialists builds complex networks zoned according to IEC 62443, and secures them with genua’s products and methods.

By using different process control systems, scenarios can be implemented that are very close to real-world automation environments. As part of penetration tests, potentially useful cybersecurity concepts and solutions undergo thorough testing in the security lab. At the same time, its specialists use their expertise to ensure that IT/OT solutions are implemented in accordance with the latest standards and comply with strict data protection laws.

"The security lab will allow our customers to build on existing and pretested HIMA solutions, and customize them for specific projects,” adds Arent. “The practical experience gained in the lab’s training courses and workshops will help our customers find answers to increasingly complex security issues."

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.