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Caught In Their Own Web

Over the past few years much has been written about the security challenges posed by the adoption of the Internet of Things and how such systems might introduce new vulnerabilities into SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) systems.

Doomsday scenarios popularised by Hollywood in which dams are hacked or power stations destroyed by terrorist hackers whilst based on a potentially viable scenario, ignore the fact that the vast majority of industrial process monitoring and control systems currently used within industry and infrastructure are not even amenable to continuous monitoring let alone remote control.

Traditional SCADA (Supervisory and Data Acquisition) industrial monitoring and control systems are reliant on PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) for the monitoring/control of electromechanical processes and concern themselves with localised management and control systems which were never designed with centralised cloud based data platforms in mind. This has led to a common scenario in which valuable data becomes isolated in various parts areas of the business, with the resultant data fragmentation limiting the available information which can then be analysed to provide key insights.

This is before taking into account the fact that electronic security regimes, deployed across all medium/large organisations (based around perimeter defence and counter measures) and normally repatriated to the core via hard cabled LAN/WAN architecture have the unintended consequence of stranding valuable intelligence behind the often complex web of subdomains, DMZ’s and firewall network management regimes.

Organisations committed to the objective of wringing new insights from every scrap of data will increasingly need to contemplate mirroring data which can then be consolidated on ultra high performance cloud platforms, analysed and then made available to all parts of the organisation as a platform agnostic enterprise mobility solution.