CISO Toolbox: Change Windows, Blackout Periods, Trending Events, and More

June 7, 2021
CISO Toolbox: Change Windows, Blackout Periods, Trending Events, and More Effective IT Asset Management During COVID-19 | Essentials for Productivity, Security, and Resilience

Maintaining the life-saving safety equipment that your workers depend on is an important, challenging, and sometimes overlooked task. Your CISO is responsible for ensuring instruments like high-pressure condensate pumps and a safety valves are working properly, and your systems must be ready to alert workers to potential hazards at a moment’s notice. Without the right systems in place, it can be exceedingly difficult to determine when there is an issue, what the issue is, who is working on it, how long it could take to fix, and how much it will cost. Maintenance can be a costly headache when you keep too many of the wrong spare parts on hand.

Scheduling can make or break your company’s maintenance requirements. Good scheduling increases asset reliability and uptime, while poor scheduling increases costs and risks to the operation. Planning and scheduling are the anchors for any asset-intensive organization. Maintenance scheduling for oil and gas companies is similar to other asset-intensive organizations, but it needs to be tailored to align with your industry. Schedulers must successfully juggle all planned, unplanned, and emergency work as it arises. To do this well, your IT/OT teams need to understand every asset’s criticality, priority, downtime costs, and impact on the business—including safety and compliance considerations.

When time is limited and repairs are critical, it is not unusual for routine maintenance to slip off the radar. Bump tests and calibrations are typically not challenging or time consuming, but the busier your days, the harder it is to schedule time for something that may not be showing obvious signs of wear and tear. However, since certain maintenance procedures are critical to worker safety, it is important to develop an efficient and effective maintenance schedule.

The good news is that ChangeGear Service Manager has the features you need to help simplify your maintenance process—and even identify trending events that point to a potential problem that may occur in the near future. The use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics can help identify compressor, valve, and pipeline maintenance issues before they become catastrophic problems. Scheduling preventive maintenance for configuration items (CI) helps avoid environmental damage and the associated fines.

Change Windows

Some companies schedule maintenance/change windows into every workweek to ensure the things that need attention get attention they deserve. You may consider implementing mandatory calibrations in the morning on the first workday of the month. While this process requires a larger time investment on maintenance day, it ensures all monitors are calibrated at the recommended frequency, giving you peace of mind that they will be working properly to alert workers of dangerous gases.

Blackout Periods

Larger companies with more complicated maintenance requirements may need to implement blackout periods in conjunction with change windows. You can use blackout periods and change windows simultaneously to schedule your maintenance. Blackout periods specify times during which normal change activity should not be scheduled, while change windows specify times during which change requests can be scheduled. For example, you may want to create a blackout schedule when you know that a line upgrade is going to happen, and no other work is allowed to be performed during that timeframe.

Change Management Calendar

You can keep employees and stakeholders aware of what is happening in your company with a Change Management Calendar. Whether your organization uses Microsoft Outlook, Apple, or Google Calendar to track events, adding upcoming changes to any of these applications helps provide visibility for everyone across your organization—not just IT and OT.

By integrating all your ITSM Change Requests with your preferred calendar application, your IT/OT teams can quickly decide whether to schedule a major repair or new installation on a particular day. Other employees can instantly see scheduled change and release requests, in addition to planned outages and business events. Calendar integration gives everyone in your company better visibility into what is happening, when it is scheduled to happen, and how long is it expected to take to complete.

Trending Events

ChangeGear’s Trending Events engine automates the analysis of similar reported incidents by grouping them into actionable parent-child relationships called Trending Events. Trending Events significantly reduce the overall volume of similar incidents that your IT/OT teams need to individually review. This allows your staff to immediately and effectively respond to the flood of incoming requests that typically indicate a wide-spread problem.

When a pipeline fails, lives, property, and the environment are put at risk along with the reputation of the entire industry. For years, OT managers have been the last line of defense, pitting their ingenuity, skills, and experience against a rising tide of aging systems and a growing mountain of data. Today, the convergence of your OT and IT teams brings a competitive advantage in their drive toward zero failures. ChangeGear with SunView Willow AI™ technology enlists the power of machine learning to help operators predict pipeline failures, increase safety, reduce operational costs, and increase overall confidence in the industry’s ability to manage its assets responsibly.

Leveraging the power of machine learning, costly and damaging failures of your pipelines can be avoided. But this is just the beginning of your journey to embrace smarter solutions that address the looming crisis of securing and maintaining aging pipes. Modern cloud technology and emerging machine learning solutions, delivered as a service, enable the oil and gas industry to embrace the impending digital transformation efficiently and securely.

Cybersecurity Begins with You

Mandatory frameworks are enforced by rigorous audits, and organizations can face crippling fines for non-compliance. Leveraging the power of ChangeGear with Tripwire in conjunction with the CERT Resilience Management Model (CERT-RMM) is one of the best ways to start and maintain a cybersecurity program, build a defensible network, and ensure your industrial processes remain operational. But sometimes, you can’t do everything alone. Armed with nearly 20 years of industry knowledge and experience, SunView Software is well-positioned to help you discover a clear-cut, step-by-step path for mitigating risk and keeping your company’s name out of the security breach headlines.

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