Leo Simonovich

VP & Global Head, Industrial Cyber, Siemens Energy

Leo Simonovich is responsible for setting the strategic direction for Siemens’ industrial cyber security business worldwide. He identifies emerging market trends, works with customers and Siemens businesses to provide best-in-class cyber offers, and contributes to the company’s thought leadership on the topic. He is particularly focused on solving the cyber security challenge in the O&G and power sectors by bringing unique solutions to customers looking to address a growing and costly operational security risk. He frequently speaks on such topics as cyber governance, risk management, and organizational transformation in operational environments.

Previously, Leo led the cyber risk analytics practice area at the management consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton. He refined his expertise through his work with large government and commercial customers to improve their cyber risk posture. While at Booz Allen, Leo created an industry recognized methodology to evaluate the financial benefits of investment in cyber security.

Leo holds both a Masters in Global Finance and a MBA from the University of Denver.

“AI-driven Cyber Defence for Endpoint Energy Assets”
Protecting endpoint operating technologies (OT) is an increasingly important challenge for the energy sector. As energy companies continue to digitize existing assets and build new assets with intrinsic network connectivity, they present an ever-expanding attack surface to escalating attacks. Trends show that cyberattacks on OT targets have increased in frequency and sophistication. Meanwhile, structural mismatches in the life cycles and maintenance cycles present a challenging business case for companies seeking to defend assets, rendering current cybersecurity best practices both technically difficult and potentially unaffordable to sustain.

Overall, the energy industry has made tremendous progress in maturing cybersecurity capabilities. Yet current practices leave significant gaps due to lag between updates. Put simply, systems patched on Monday are powerless on Friday to stop attacks methods developed on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

To meet this challenge and answer both the technical and the business case, future cybersecurity solutions need to meet clear requirements: They must function while isolated, remain potent between updates, provide flexibility for deployment in unique, widely varied OT configurations, and must meet or exceed the cost-benefit ratio of current practices. We believe that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions offer these characteristics, as well as ancillary benefits. This talk will describe in detail the current challenges faced by energy companies, the implications of observable industry trends, the characteristics that potential cybersecurity solutions must meet, and why we believe AI and ML technologies can meet these requirements now and in the future.


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