ARC Forum Cybersecurity Program Addresses Top OT Security Challenges

By Sid Snitkin

Industry Trends

ARC is happy to report that end users and suppliers alike gave strong ratings for the ARC Forum Cybersecurity program at the ARC 2022 Americas Forum in Orlando. Workshop topics, panel discussions, and the variety of industries and topics included in end user case study sessions all received high ratings. The ARC Industry Forum cybersecurity program is embedded into our larger conference that explores key developments that are changing industrial operations, from implementing successful digital transformation programs to digital twins, sustainability, edge computing, open automation, and more. For over ten years, ARC’s cybersecurity forum program has allowed attendees to learn more about the activities that are driving new cybersecurity requirements. Most importantly, the program provided many opportunities for networking with end user, supplier, and service provider peers. 

Key topics covered in this year’s cybersecurity program included the changing threat landscape for OT, cybersecurity for the connected worker, the impact of digital transformation on OT security, ransomware, and IT/OT cybersecurity convergence strategies. As always, the end user presence is what really distinguishes the ARC conference from others.  Over a dozen end users from industries ranging from oil and gas to chemicals, semiconductor, power generation, water, and more shared their thoughts and offered actionable advice on the leading cybersecurity issues and challenges. 

ARC Forum Cybersecurity

Program Highlights

The ARC 2022 Americas Industry Forum agenda included five days of workshops, keynotes, and sessions spanning the myriad developments revolutionizing industrial plants and critical infrastructure operations. Cybersecurity is intertwined with all these developments, and the Forum cybersecurity program reflected this with various sessions on the impact they are having and will have on cybersecurity requirements. 

The cybersecurity program included a full day of cybersecurity workshops that discussed current and emerging challenges and what’s needed to secure connected workers, deal with ransomware, and enable secure information exchanges with supply chain partners. Case study presentations by a wide range of leading industrial companies augmented the topical workshops and demonstrated the diversity of cybersecurity challenges and strategies across industrial operations. 

Cybersecurity Workshops

Several hundred cybersecurity and other professionals took advantage of the pre-forum cybersecurity workshop day. This was kicked off with a session on Industrial Cybersecurity – Today and Tomorrow that provided useful insight from Klint Walker of CISA on today’s challenging threat landscape and recent incidents like the Colonial Pipeline. 

ARC augmented this with a keynote presentation from ARC vice president and cybersecurity practice leader Sid Snitkin that included recent ARC research on the cybersecurity strategy changes that will be needed to deal with the myriad of new industrial developments. This provided a foundation for subsequent user panel discussions on security concerns and strategies for managing the rapid increase in connected workers and the growing risks of ransomware and supply chain attacks

Case Study Sessions

Three cybersecurity case study sessions were included in the main forum program tracks during the in-person event in Orlando. This provided a diverse set of presentations by cybersecurity leaders from a variety of industries including Ricky Eckhart of ExxonMobil, Keith Kolkebeck of Veolia North America, Tim Simmons of Abbott, Richard Moar of EnQuest, Sam Chanoski of Idaho National Laboratories, and Andre Ristaino of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance. A fourth session was added to the virtual event for speakers who could not attend in-person. This provided case studies from additional industrial sectors including Dror Hevlin of SolarEdge Technologies, Suvajit Basu of Goya Foods, and Luke Urie of the Austin Transportation Department.
Networking Events

ARC Forum attendees always gain a lot from networking with peers and suppliers. To facilitate networking, a Birds of a Feather session was included in this year’s cybersecurity program.  It gave end users an opportunity to connect with other attendees who shared their concerns. Suppliers were also given an opportunity in this session to briefly describe their offerings in a lightning round that helped attendees focus their network-ing efforts in the showcase area and during the various event receptions. 

Supplier Sponsored Workshops

Several ARC Industry Forum vendor sponsors held luncheon workshops during our Monday program. Armis discussed the anatomy of a maritime port cyberattack and the role of the cyber kill chain in preventing OT level attacks. Fortinet’s workshop covered the application of automation and control principles to the formation of a good OT level cyber defense strategy. 

OPSWAT’s workshop explained how past cybersecurity attacks on critical infrastructure have shaped the future of technology for OT/ICS. The workshop outlined the connection between these cybersecurity incidents and their root causes, as well as how they could have been prevented. The Nozomi Networks workshop outlined the importance of real time asset visibility, monitoring, and threat detection. 


The energy at this year’s ARC Forum cybersecurity program was palpable. End users are the core of our forum cybersecurity program and we strive to make our content end user driven. If you are an end user and want to participate in next year’s forum as a presenter or panelist, please contact the author at the email below. If you are involved with the world of cybersecurity for OT, industrial, and critical infrastructure applications, make sure to add the ARC Industry Forum as a must attend event on your calendar. The next ARC Industry Forum in Orlando will be held February 6-9, 2023. 

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