German company Siemens and French IT firm Atos have formed a partnership to offer integrated solutions for utilities and the US oil and gas industry to prevent cyber-attacks.

With utilities increasingly using software to become more efficient and reliable, there is also an increased risk faced by them from cyber-attacks. Hence, the two companies say that there should be an increase in cyber defences that can go beyond compliance regulations to provide security to operations.

Atos and Siemens partnership in the US is part of their global agreement on go-to-market and shared research and development efforts to target information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security for any market.

In oil and gas industry, digitalization is a convergence of IT and OT connectivity that highlights a need for a set of solutions to address the data crossover between the two segments.

According to a research study by Ponemon Institute, about 70% of US oil and gas cyber managers said that their operations have had experienced at least one security issue in the past year, leading to loss of confidential information loss. 

Atos North America Group senior executive vice president and CEO Michel-Alain Proch said: "We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand the Siemens and Atos relationship as US utilities, oil and gas industries are realizing the extent of cybersecurity challenges when moving into a digitized and connected ecosystem.

"With our combined end-to-end suite of solutions and innovative approaches to security analytics and better detection and response capabilities, customers will see tangible advantages in cost and risk reductions, as well as enhanced performance and flexibility gains."

Siemens USA CEO and New Equipment Solutions for Dresser-Rand executive vice president Judy Marks said: "As the energy industry benefits from digital technologies and solutions, there is a need to guard against growing cyber threats.

“This new cooperation is part of our broad effort to deliver cybersecurity solutions to America's energy sector. By bridging operational technology and information technology capabilities, we can strengthen our customers' defenses against costly and disruptive attacks."