ARC Forum Executive Interview with Albert Rooyakkers of Bedrock Automation

By Larry O'Brien

Industry Trends

At the recent ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, ARC’s Mark Sen Gupta sat down with Bedrock Automation founder and CEO Albert Rooyakkers. Mr. Rooyakkers discusses Bedrock’s approach to cybersecurity by design in industrial automation systems, as well as new products and applications that were first announced at the ARC Forum. One of these is the new OSA Proxy, which according to Rooyakkers is a “security appliance that really addresses the needs of the installed base, so we're taking the advanced Bedrock security technology and deploying it in a very convenient cost-effective device that allows users to take conventional networks and PLCs and DCSs and connect them into a secure environment.”

Bedrock Automation Forms Alliance with Wood Group

Mr. Rooyakkers also discussed the newly announced relationship with Wood Group as a major engineering partner for Bedrock Automation implementation projects.  According to Rooyakkers, the announcement is “another demonstration of our expanding footprint with Wood Group being a multinational engineering company out of Houston, Texas, and we're working closely with them already on some very exciting projects, so this will allow us ever greater deployment ever greater skill set and it's allowing us also to expand our knowledge base into the oil and gas sector in particular.”

Firmware Upgrades with Cybershield

Mr. Rooyakkers also discussed the company’s Cybershield secure firmware offering, which was also announced at the ARC Forum.  Cybershield 3.0 featured the “first public key infrastructure (PKI) built into an OPC UA server for SCADA applications; an industrial Certificate Authority (CA) for user key management; virtual crypto key locks for the controller; and a Secure Proxy server capability that can protect legacy controls systems of other vendors.”  

Version 4.0 was discussed at the forum, and according to Mr. Rooyakkers features “support for MQTT SparkPlug B, so this is a really important toolset, and it will be attached to COTS biometric technologies, using multi-factor authentication for identity and identity verification, and this will work seamlessly with LDAP and enterprise systems for key management that works in concert with our key management technologies that we've talked about in the past, so now this is really upping our game and it allows users to have advanced IT toolsets at their disposal in the OT system.”  Version 4 will be available for commercial release later this year.  

Expanding into More Applications and Industries

Mr. Rooyakkers also points out that Bedrock continues to expand its business into larger and larger projects across a wider range of industries. With an “at-scale” engineering partner like Wood Group, access to these larger projects in a wider range of industries that have been historically dominated by traditional DCS suppliers will only expand and will provide further case studies that can prove the lifecycle cost benefits of the company’s technology in the field. 

At this year’s ARC Industry Forum, East Cherry Creek Valley municipal water district of Colorado presented their own case study on implementing Bedrock Automation technology to replace a legacy DCS/SCADA system for their water distribution applications. Enhanced cybersecurity was a major driver behind the project since the legacy system could not support the modern cybersecurity features and technologies required for today’s critical infrastructure applications.  

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