This is another rant of mine, but I'll go easy here, Elizabeth.
Security needs to be in the product concept from the very beginning.
Those who say things such as "I think security is important, but we can't let that stop us" are essentially saying "We don't know what this security thingy is, we'll pay lip service, and we'll add the features we need later, after we're on the market." That is how insecurity happens. It's like forgetting to add baking powder in a cake recipe, tossing it in the oven, and expecting to add it after it is made.
Security starts with strong and robust coding practices, fail-safe architectures, well defined roles for operation, self-integrity monitoring and reporting, and well constructed packaging. You can not add security after the fact. This is why many in the software industry have such a rotten reputation for reliability and security.
If you figure out how to add this in to a product after the fact, I'd love to read about how you did it.
I agree on the security issue but it shouldn't be a stumbling block to adopting IP. I hope that manufacturers don't use concerns about it to delay innovation. Obviously, the concerns should be addressed, but there are ways to do it.
Rob, I agree completely with the security issue. I think expanded ability with IP is wonderful provided transmissions are secure and right now, I don't think the horse is truly in the barn. The levels of encryption, if there at all, don't seem to be adequate, at least from my viewpoint. Additional work needs to be accomplished and demonstrated. Some months ago I wrote a paper for PDHonlinel.org about RFID and how that technology might "fit" into the manufacturing world. I was very surprised at comments from RFID professionals relative to security and durability of wireless signals. It's still a great concern on their part.
Going the way of telecom? It's been there since there was a telecom!
In fact, this whole "Internet of Things" mantra seems quite silly to me. We've been using networks on plants and control systems since before there was an Internet. Ever look at the age of the Modbus protocol? Now go look at the earliest RFC documents for the Internet.
What they're doing is reinventing the concept of SCADA and calling it "The Internet of THINGS!" Whoo hoo! Doesn't this concept feel new all over again?
Yet, under the hood, it's the same old protocols, the same concepts, and pretty much the same old stuff --with one exception: it's more complex. There are more places than ever before for someone to inject malware and rude behavior.
And why are we doing this? Do we need the performance of these networks? Nope. Do we need to be compatible with something here? Show me!
The real reason why we are doing this is because we now have an entire generation of people who do not understand the physical layer of a network. So they use more layers on top of existing standards in the hope that they can make things work. But by the time they realize that these higher layers only bring additional risks and complexity to the table, they'll be promoted and on to perpetrate this stupidity somewhere else.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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