Designing Secure Machine Control Networks

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Why tie the networks together?
Tool_maker   8/29/2013 1:04:19 PM
I understand the need to tie stuff together internally for inventory control, tracking orders, and a million other reasons. I undrestand the desire to go outside for banking, order placement and a host of other reasons. I do not understand why they ever have to be tied together.

 A million years ago when I was in the military, I was in a mechanized unit. The company commander's vehicle had two radios. One on the company network and one for the battalion. that way neither was cluttered with nonessential chatter. Does that not seem like at least a partial solution to this threat? When everything is linked that brings to mind a person using a megaphone to carry on a conversation and then trying to figure out how to soundproof the room so the conversation remains private.

  Just because we can link everything, does not mean itis the best method.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Why tie the networks together?
Ann R. Thryft   8/29/2013 2:45:36 PM
The buffer zone/perimeter network is an interesting concept, and at least at first glance looks like a good idea. But Tool_maker's comment makes me wonder about all those connections, too. Sequestering different networks--internal comms versus the manufacturing network where profit-center work is done, like the battalion--seems like a much more secure topology, as well as less crowded. Yet it's been a common topic in DN and elsewhere about all the efforts to bring IT together with manufacturing. Perhaps that needs a rethink.

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Secure Machine Networks
apresher   8/29/2013 5:41:44 PM
Ann, I don't think machine control and entreprise network traffic is mixed any more than is required for specific functions.

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Machine/Enterprise Networks
apresher   8/29/2013 5:47:43 PM
Tool_Maker, You make a lot of good points. In most network designs, my understanding is that network traffic is not mixed and is completely separate from external traffic.  When there is a need for exposing the network to the "outside", the security needs obviously grow dramatically. It's interesting that policies, procedures and physical security become as big of issues as the fancy technology protection measures. Thanks for your comments.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Machine/Enterprise Networks
Cabe Atwell   10/23/2013 6:14:32 PM
A tied-together approach does have its advantages but nothing is ever secure as it sounds. It would seem an attack, whether done by a hacker or a virus, could bring anything tied to that network down instead of being compartmentalized in a single area like those of node-based networks.

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