HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Ann R. Thryft   11/23/2011 1:02:42 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting about the disgruntled ex-employees. I would have guessed more on the order of industrial espionage and competitors looking for info on trade secrets. OTOH, some work I did a few years back in security showed that the biggest leaks and potential leaks were not disgruntled current employees with either improperly secured mobile devices, or those where employees turned off security because it gets in the way of operating the machines. Those mobile devices then get lost or mislaid and presto! The company has a security crisis on its hands.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Rob Spiegel   11/23/2011 12:52:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, it is exposed, which makes IT nervous, especially when control resists the usual overnight patches and reboots. The plant never sleeps, so you can't just reboot.

Interestingly, the perceived threat is not from malicious anonymous hacker or terrorists. What really scares them is former disgruntled employees. Those are the folks who know where all the digital levers are.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Ann R. Thryft   11/23/2011 12:15:56 PM
NO RATINGS
That's an excellent point about security, Rob. One of the good things about the pre-internet days was that, even if you could hack a machine based on one of those old proprietary standards, they weren't connected to the outside world. Now they are, and all that data is exposed.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Rob Spiegel   11/23/2011 11:28:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Very interesting, Dave. Sounds like IT backed off once they were convinved that control got religion on the importance of security. Seems like an excellent solution. And yes, you identified another area of conflict between IT and control, the sense of time.

Dave Kaylor
User Rank
Iron
Re: Only a matter of time
Dave Kaylor   11/23/2011 10:02:37 AM
NO RATINGS
Over 6 years of meetings between IT and Controls, there is more emphasis on security from the Controls side now that we have a greater understanding.  The controls were determined that IT be "like the cable company" and provide the infrastructure only. 

The largest gap now is the issue of urgency, Controls live in a world where "real-time" is milliseconds and IT's definition is hours.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Rob Spiegel   11/23/2011 7:12:49 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, it's a widespread conflict. IT says, you need these patches to ensure your security. Control says, you can't reboot these computers until we have planned downtime. The big change is that the control network is exposed to the outside world now that the plant's control network is tied in to ERP and supply chain networks.

This kind of integration is great. The finance folks know what's being consumed and what's being produced. Suppliers know what inventory has been depleted. Customers get to know when their M&Ms have shipped. But the plant is now exposed to all the contagious ills that run on the Internet.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Beth Stackpole   11/23/2011 6:46:06 AM
NO RATINGS
You raise a really important point, Rob. And with control systems becoming a more fully blended mix of traditional automation and mainstream IT technology, it's logical that the person in charge has to straddle or have some sort of oversight of both domains. Perhaps there is an emerging new position?

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Only a matter of time
Jack Rupert, PE   11/22/2011 4:48:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Even though Ethernet (the hardware) is becoming standard, the hiccup is the fact that each manufacturer maintains its own protocols.  While you can buy an off-the-shelf industrial switch from anybody for your system, that's only half the battle.  There is still no easy way (short of bridges or converters) to take Manufacturer A's product and put it into an existing system that used Manufacturer B.  The issue gets blown out of proportion when dealing with non-automation people who can't quite grasp why interoperation is not so easy when "they are all ethernet, aren't they?"

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Rob Spiegel   11/22/2011 2:49:28 PM
NO RATINGS
One of the fun side effects of IT and plant control running on the same Ethernet pipeline is the question of who's in charge? That battle has been raging for years. Some smart companies have created mixed groups with personnel from both IT and control. But that's not always the case. 

They have two different views of the world. IT is concerned about security and control is concerned about uptime. In the past, control was an internal network without security issues. That's changed.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Only a matter of time
Ann R. Thryft   11/22/2011 2:48:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Ethernet has taken a really long time to move into the control world, because of the multiple silos created by different proprietary protocols and because of the big difference in functionality between control protocols and the serial, packet-based Ethernet networking protocols. The determinism issue was a real one. That's why it's taken protocols specially designed for real-time industrial control, such as EtherCAT and Ethernet Powerlink, to make that shift possible.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Two students have created a voice-command system for our homes, based on the simple and affordable Raspberry Pi.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Texas Instruments is rolling out a new microcontroller that could make the design of sensor networks and data logging systems simpler and less costly.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 4 - 8, Introduction to Linux Device Drivers
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service