GE Digital extended this week its Remote Operations packaged software and appliance solution to the oil and gas and chemical industries. Using a secure network system, hard-token credentials and granular access controls, the offering provides remote workers access to essential HMI (Human-Machine Interface) monitoring and control functions in a secure environment compliant with NERC-CIP standards.
The HMI software application presents information to an operator or user about the state of a process, and accepts and implements the operators’ control instructions. It is often a part of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.
With Remote Operations, remote employees can access essential equipment monitoring and control functions. Currently available in several packages to accommodate needs ranging from urgent continuity to fault tolerant fleet-wide operations centers, GE Digital began offering Remote Operations earlier last year to the power generation sector and has several global industrial customers using the solution.
“Our success in the Power Generation industry leads naturally to offering Remote Operations to Oil & Gas and Chemicals companies,” said Linda Rae, general manager for GE Digital’s power generation and oil & gas business in a press statement. “These and other industries are seeking the benefits of remote and centralized monitoring centers, worker location flexibility, and increased safety and productivity for mobile workers.”
To offer secure operations continuity, Remote Operations is built around a secure connection broker appliance featuring two-factor authentication, role, time and equipment-based access controls, session logging and recording, and encrypted pixel-only data transfer, GE Digital said. With its zero-trust security, control room managed access rights, and operational safeguards, Remote Operations provides the oil and gas and chemical industries with secure and failsafe operational flexibility across remote, mobile and on-site staff.
GE’s Remote Operations gives the oil and gas and chemical industries centralized monitoring of distant and dispersed equipment, lights-out operation of distant facilities, remote monitoring and controls over refinery or plant equipment, mobile controls and collaboration for maintenance crew activities, anytime/anywhere access to experts to aid in equipment maintenance, along with remote/mobile monitoring and controls for in-house power generation facilities.
GE Digital’s Remote Operations for Oil & Gas and Chemical Industries meets the criteria for enabling remote and mobile access for a connected workforce regardless of location, according to Craig Resnick, vice president of ARC Advisory Group, a technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure. “That helps to facilitate collaboration and provides secure access to monitoring and control functionality to appropriate individuals from anywhere and supports interactions with remote experts,” he added.
To meet the needs of a wider range of oil and gas and chemical industries, Remote Operations will be available in three upwardly compatible packages, GE Digital said.
Oil and gas companies also need cybersecurity solutions that allow for real-time, continuous monitoring of threat detection and anomalies such as malfunctioning devices, wrote Shane Thompson, Garland Technology’s regional sales manager in a company blog post. “They need solutions that can detect, manage and prioritize the vulnerabilities of the devices and firmwares of their IT and OT networks including the reporting of common vulnerabilities and exposures, or CVEs, he added.