PROCENTEC chooses Computest for security-testing new industrial IoT-application
12 October 2017
PROCENTEC delivers solutions to companies in the industrial automation industry with which they can monitor and analyze their production processes. The company is active worldwide and operates from the Netherlands with about 55 employees. To help customers get the maximum from the Industry 4.0 era, PROCENTEC developed the IoT-application Atlas. To test the security of this solution, PROCENTEC worked together with Computest.
“Downtime in the production network of our customers is very costly. At the same time, networks get more complex because of integration between factory installations and IT-systems,” says Oscar Abbenhuis, Product Manager at PROCENTEC. “Industrial Ethernet requires a different way of tracking and solving problems. When problems arise, it is difficult for the end-user to discover what and where the problem is. To make this process easier and quicker for our customers, we offer Atlas. This is a web-based tool that continuously signalizes problems, indicates issues and monitors the production network.”
Atlas operates as a part of the network and offers a dashboard that makes all devices in the network visible. This way, not only the status of network components can be viewed, but customers will also be able to see on which software versions applications run. Additionally, connections between the different components are made clear.
Atlas is used worldwide by a wide variety of different companies like car manufacturers, steel factories and incineration companies. This innovative solution directly affects elementary processes within a company. “We have to be sure this application works well in industrial surroundings. Therefore, we performed several tests like vibration and temperature tests. Furthermore, you have to be sure that Atlas does not have a negative effect on other devices and vice-versa.” For that, PROCENTEC received an EMC Certificate (Electro Magnetic Compatibility) and also won a design award from the DARE test lab.
“Obviously, it is essential that third parties cannot abuse our application and that Atlas is only used for its purpose. Among customers, the interest for security issues is getting bigger, but this also brings along uncertainties. Making a product safe is not something you just do next to everything else, you need to work with specialists. To be sure of a watertight system, we also worked with Computest to subject Atlas to several security tests,” says Abbenhuis.
Points of improvement
The choice for Computest was a quick one: “In the first meeting I noticed they had extensive expertise on security issues. The experts of Computest started their tests and within two weeks came back with a comprehensive report. In this report, several points of improvement were addressed, with which we could immediately work to improve the safety of Atlas. All these points have now been incorporated into the system.” Abbenhuis is very positive about the collaboration with Computest: “We were dealing with professionals with a lot of knowledge that acted as a partner, which made communicating very easy.”
PROCENTEC thinks it is very important that employees are aware of the security risks. This is why Computest, as a follow-up to the collaboration, was asked to provide Security Awareness training courses. “With these courses we broadened our knowledge, with which we can serve our customers better. We will keep on developing Atlas and will, for example, offer remote access in the future. It is good to know we can trust Computest as a security-partner.”