GAMS preview: Data security challenges

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference on Sept. 14 in Chicago, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles.


Sal Spada (top left), analyst, ARC Advisory Group; Franz Gruber (top right), CEO of Forcam; Aurelio Banda (bottom left), CEO and president, Beckhoff Automation North America; Chris LeBeau (bottom right), global IT director, ATS. Courtesy: ARC Advisory GroThe 2016 Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit (GAMS), presented by CFE Media, will bring together experts from all areas of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to look at not just the current state of IIoT but also at the potential benefits of deployment for the manufacturing industry.

The third GAMS conference takes place Wednesday, Sept. 14, beginning at noon. It is held in conjunction with the Industrial Automation North America (IANA) pavilion at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The event is co-presented by Hannover Fairs USA.

In preparation for the 2016 GAMS Conference, CFE Media asked our panelists to discuss some of the key issues facing manufacturing. This is one in a daily series of articles leading up to this year's conference:

CFE Media: One big issue with Big Data is security. How can we keep data more secure from both deliberate external threats as well as internal threats?

Banda: Here again, the use of standards in PC-based control platforms, along with the history of security expertise from the IT world, serves as guides. There are multiple tools available to IIoT and Industrie 4.0 applications in order to establish data security without requiring the manufacturer to have IT security experts on staff. OPC-UA, for example, provides data encryption and built-in security mechanisms to the vertical communication layer from the plant floor to the cloud. This is a vendor-neutral platform supported by many large automation and controls companies, including Beckhoff Automation. At Beckhoff, we have gone even further by adopting major IoT standards AMQP and MQTT directly into our automation software platform for use in industrial applications. We also utilize standard cloud services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). In the case of Azure, data security and privacy can be maintained via Azure Active Directory and Azure Application Insights.

LeBeau: The key consideration is in the level of the data. Accessing a database where you can see a sensor reported a temperature of 70 F 60 times a minute for a year is not valuable. Understanding where that sensor is and what equipment it is associated with may have more value.

Although I think there are new network security issues presented with the number of endpoints involved in IIoT, the security challenges are mostly the same ones we have already within the technology industry.

Spada: I believe the security issue is well understood by many practitioners in the industry. The latest thinking of the leading security technologist is that it is effectively impossible or possibly financially impractical to create an absolutely secure facility that is protected from all possible vulnerabilities. Today the strategy is to implement security so that it detects a vulnerability as quickly as possible and limits the exposure to the plant. This being said, best practice is to undergo a security assessment with outside experts to ensure that infrastructure is not exposed to vulnerabilities.

Gruber: There is no single product, technology, or methodology that can fully secure a control system network. It is the very combination of solutions and partners that extend beyond products and technologies. Those combinations of solutions stretch alongside companywide security systems and best practice designs, policies, and procedures taking into account the unique requirements of each customer and industry.

The first consideration for production environments is to recognize the financial impact and priorities in terms of key objectives. Typically, downtime for production facilities is counted in hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per hour. It is driven by lost production, unused capital assets, personnel costs, energy costs, cost to repair, and other penalties or issues due to production failures. It can include loss of intellectual property and corruption of critical data. If the event is made public, the cost to a company's value and reputation drastically increase the impact. A clear trend for enterprises with industrial networks is performing reviews of their security systems in place, such as:

  • What are the policies and standards that are currently deployed?
  • How well are they implemented?
  • What issues/problems do we have?
  • What requirements apply to our industry?
  • Where do we need to be from a security perspective?
  • How will we change/improve the situation? 

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me