HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Is the network safe???
Rob Spiegel   11/16/2012 1:38:56 PM
NO RATINGS
William K., you illustrated very well the vulnerability of plant networks. You can see why this drives the IT folks crazy.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It's always daylight in someone's time zone
Ann R. Thryft   11/16/2012 11:50:53 AM
NO RATINGS
I see what you mean. But Ethernet has been invading the factory since the late 80s, and began to infiltrate the back end--the plant floor--around that time in some industries, even if it was only cobbled together custom attempts at interfacing the control system with early IT networks. So the conflicts began over 20 years ago.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Is the network safe???
William K.   11/15/2012 10:28:25 PM
NO RATINGS
One very simple and inexpensive way to hack a companie's network has been described to me, and it would work in a lot of places, particularly those where the system hub is in a closet, not a server room. All a visitor would need is a cheap wireless router and a eternet cable. Plug the cable into the system hub and then into the router, plug in the router, and place it above the dropped ceiling of the closet. The company network could then be accessed by anyone with the router password, within range. And if the hack were discovered, finding the snooper would not be simple, because of the wireless link.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It's always daylight in someone's time zone
Rob Spiegel   11/15/2012 8:40:08 PM
NO RATINGS
It seems to make sense, Ann. Yet I think the struggle between control engineers and IT folks is fairly recent. For decades, the plant floor was run on networks that were not linked out to the company's back office and supply chain. As for these teams that include control and IT, a lot of that movement seems to have come from vendors as a suggested best practice.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It's always daylight in someone's time zone
Ann R. Thryft   11/15/2012 4:46:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob that cooperation is a long time coming, don't you think?

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It's always daylight in someone's time zone
Rob Spiegel   11/15/2012 11:01:06 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, Ann, in successful deployments now, many companies are creating these IT/control teams. Some of this comes through vendor encouragement. Apparently, these teams have been successful at reconciling the needs for 24/7 plant uptime and IT concerns over security.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Is your network safe?
Rob Spiegel   11/14/2012 9:14:57 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes it is a good question, Chuck. When plants were silos, safety wasn't a concern. That has really changed in recent years. Plant networks now connect out to ERP systems and supply chain partners. Another thing that has changed is the use of energy. Ten years ago plants didn't care about energy savings. Wow, has that changed.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It's always daylight in someone's time zone
Ann R. Thryft   11/14/2012 12:38:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob--a team with both control and IT people? Who talk to each other? What a novel idea! Kidding aside (I think), it's sure taken a long time to bring that about. Glad to hear it.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: It's always daylight in someone's time zone
Rob Spiegel   11/13/2012 10:34:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Ann. More and more companies are gaining a handle on the tention between IT and control managers. The going solution is to create a team that includes both control and IT folks.

Nancy Golden
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Is your network safe?
Nancy Golden   11/13/2012 7:13:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Me too, Charles. In the old days at the semiconductor company I worked at, as a member of test engineering I was also expected to help with keeping everybody's computers up and running. We never thought much about network security beyond the barebones administrator privileges. With the increase in interconnectivity and establishment of IT departments, computer security has become so much more than guarding against a virus attacking your computer - so much so that some companies have gone to the extreme. I have a friend that works for an engineering company and he can't even download datasheets because of the security settings by their IT department. If there is no activity on his keyboard for longer than five minutes it automatically logs him out. It would be nice for companies like that to adapt different strategies where the network is kept secure but the employees can still access the data they need. I am surprised to read that disgruntled employees are feared the most - I would think it would be unethical competitors...but then the disgruntled employees that leave may become the unethical competitors. It always astounds me how much time and energy people devote to such a destructive and dishonest practice as hacking, often with no logical return except for the accomplishment they feel in being able to do it - if they directed their energy to honest productivity they would be so much better off...

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Kevin Gautier of Formlabs describes the making of a carbon fiber mold for an intake manifold, using a $3,300 3D printer, during Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
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: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
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