Yokogawa Electric Corporation
Number of Employees
19,685(consolidated basis as of March 31, 2013)
• The customer delivers control systems to E/U factories or plants, and they are infected with viruses one after another
• The customer hopes to strengthen security services for the control systems
Trend Micro Solutions
Trend Micro Portable Security 2
• Portable Security 2, a product requiring no installation*1, allows the user to check his/her control system for security with no effect on it
• A centralized management function of the product makes on-site action quicker and enhances management efﬁciency
• The user can accumulate and analyze inspection logs to plan measures against expected risks
Yokogawa develops its business according to a philosophy “As a company,
our goal is to contribute to society through broad-ranging activities
in the areas of measurement, control, and information.” The company
receives high marks globally in the ﬁeld of control and operation
monitoring systems for facilities installed in petrochemical, steel,
paper, food, and pharmaceutical factories or plants.
Yokogawa not only offers outstanding systems but also has another strong point-sincere support services after system delivery, including “life-cycle support,” “remote maintenance,” and “inspection and maintenance.” However, in recent years its support group has faced a new issue: infection with computer viruses. Mr. Hiroshi Itakura of Yokogawa, says, “In the worst case, plants have the risk of shutting down.”
This is because conventionally, people did not recognize that security measures were necessary for control systems.
Many control systems run in a closed network, so the operator has believed that they are never infected with viruses. However, viruses which invade control systems via devices such as USB ﬂash drives have recently been raging, resulting in a threat to safety. To address this issue, Yokogawa adds a menu called “endpoint security service” to its support services to prevent infection, with viruses, of control systems delivered to customers.
As a key solution for the security service, Yokogawa adopts Trend Micro Portable Security 2, a malware scanning and cleanup tool shaped like a USB ﬂash drive. Inserting the tool into the terminal in question makes it possible to check for and eliminate viruses. The product is a special tool developed for stand-alone and closed terminals.
The terminal of a system that controls the operation of a factory gives priority to performance and availability, which may complicate installation of typical anti-virus software.
With no installation of new software in the terminal*1, TMPS2 searches for and removes viruses with the tool inserted into the USB port. Mr. Toshihiro Hatakeyama of Yokogawa says, “This tool makes it easy to check for infection with viruses at customers’ sites.”
Currently, Yokogawa replaces the previous product (TMPS) used from 2010
with the latest product (TMPS2) to offer support services for control
systems. “We have sent 55 pieces of TMPS2 to 25 domestic service
offices deployed from Hokkaido to Okinawa,” Ms. Kumiko Takayashiki of
Yokogawa says. Before using TMPS2, the company evaluates the effect on
its products. Next, it develops operating and setup procedures as a
manual and gives regular education to engineers to ensure that the work
quality is kept high.
The most frequently used function is to create a clean backup image. In general, a factory or plant stops its system once every one to four years for regular inspection. Mr. Hatakeyama says, “Before system stop, we make a backup image of the whole control system as a measure against emergency events after using TMPS2 to confirm that the system is not infected with any virus.” In addition, the tool is applied to checking a control terminal in trouble and to the quick analysis of the possible causes of problems.
Through the use shown above, Yokogawa gives the highest mark to TMPS2’s “centralized management function,” which is not available in TMPS.
Old TMPS had no function of updating pattern files or of collecting and showing logs, which required installation of a management program in a management computer. Therefore, to centralize all pieces of TMPS, Yokogawa kept them at its headquarters where the computer was installed and dispatched them in accordance with site-by-site demand.
Mr. Hatakeyama says, “It is a time-consuming task, but logs from TMPS are important assets that result in the accumulation of knowledge and know-how. We analyze them to know what happens in customers’ systems, to grasp risk tendencies, and to plan future measures. Therefore, it is essential to centralize logs at the headquarters.”
TMPS2, which has the function of centrally managing its scanning tools in remote environments, allows the user to centralize logs at its headquarters with the tool deployed site by site. Concretely, the user takes advantage of a server, in which a management program is installed, to check or grasp the status of TMPS2 and data logs, to update pattern files, and to manage various settings in a centralized fashion.
This function not only reflects logs in the continuous improvement of services but also enhances operation efficiency. All support personnel throughout the country keep TMPS2 in hand and use it quickly when necessary (see the figure on the previous page). “In the past, we had to await the arrival of TMPS until the next day at the earliest even if we found a control terminal suspected of being infected with a virus. We could not remove worry from the customer quickly and obliged the support person to visit the site in question many times, resulting in a reduction in efficiency. Currently, we can always bring TMPS2 with us, which gives peace of mind to our customers,” Ms. Takayashiki says.
As mentioned above, TMPS2 contributes greatly to the quality improvement of Yokogawa’s support services. In addition to the product, support from Trend Micro is valued highly. Mr. Hatakeyama says, “The specifications of the server sometimes obliged us to reinstall the management program. As soon as I asked a question about its effect, Trend Micro immediately built up a test environment to check data migration procedures. We greatly appreciate such quick and sincere support.”
Currently, Yokogawa uses TMPS2 only in Japan. Its overseas offices continue to use TMPS, but the company plans to replace it with TMPS2 in the near future. “We want to brush up our services further by centralized management on a global scale,” Mr. Itakura tells in conclusion, giving a glimpse of future prospects.
*1 : When scanning malware, drivers are created on the target terminal
and files on the local HDD temporarily. After the scan, the drivers and
files do not remain in the target terminal.
*2 : When the pattern file is updated with management computer/scanning tool, TMPS2 conducts virus checks with the latest pattern file.
Note : TMPS2 does not scan management computers for viruses.