Efficient Plant April 2022 - 11

feature | cybersecurity
For new and retrofi t
projects, IoT edge
gateways provide
needed connectivity
while fortifying
network security.
Edge Gateways
Deliver Secure Connectivity
MOST ARE FAMILIAR with the idiom
" if it ain't broke, don't fi x it. " On the other
hand, a small group of tech folks may
occasionally follow the lesser-known
guidance of " if it ain't broke, keep fi xing it
until it is. " All kidding aside, there are a lot
of existing industrial-automation installations
that do not appear broken, and others
that need modifi cation to enable remote
access. Th e former may already be insecure
from a cybersecurity standpoint. For the
latter, it's possible that certain upgrades may
weaken cybersecurity.
New installations also require secure
remote access, but they can be designed
from the ground up with the latest hardware
APRIL 2022
and soſt ware. However, most companies
have a signifi cant amount of legacy equipment,
and it would be of great benefi t to
remotely connect with many of those
systems. Whether automated equipment is
brand new or a legacy installation, end users
need to understand the benefi ts of connectivity
versus the potential security issues,
along with best practices for achieving
secure remote monitoring and control.
WHY CONNECT?
Gaining remote access and data connectivity
to improve monitoring and control are
key aspects of industrial internet of things
(IIoT) initiatives. Th e IIoT maturity model
Jonathan Griffi th
AutomationDirect
(Fig. 1, p. 12) off ers fi ve steps that will take
your operation from computerization to
adaptability.
Most companies have benefi ted from the
initial digitalization stage through the computerization
of equipment using programmable
logic controllers (PLCs) or similar
devices. Many have taken the next step of
connecting these intelligent assets to plant
networks so they can access and visualize
the data, either on the local network or
using the cloud.
To gain maximum value, it's necessary to
advance into the Industry 4.0 stage where
the data is analyzed to determine how assets
are performing. Once this is understood, it
EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM | 11
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Efficient Plant April 2022

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