Keep Bad Out, Let Good In

Feb. 6, 2008
"Companies need to perform a risk analysis, taking a look at revenue-producing activities. They need to determine how much impact each type of attack could have on their company.”

This quote from Michael Torppey, Technical Manager for the Process Control Systems Forum, sets the tone for Contributing Editor Terry Costlow’s feature article in this issue.

The annual security issue of Automation World’s Industrial Ethernet Review is always popular—along with the
follow up Webcast. Watch for more information about the upcoming Webcast at www.automationworld.com.
What Costlow discovered in his interviews is that information technology (IT) departments no longer have a blank check for new projects, as they did before and after the Y2K phenomenon. Not surprisingly, business managers are asking for accountability. How can IT rein in costs, while maintaining the appropriately secure systems?

I’ve always maintained that Automation World isn’t a proponent of automating for no reason. It’s all about the intelligent application of automation to further business success. That’s the challenge that IT professionals and engineers are facing, now that they have successfully implemented Ethernet in their factories and plants. Many people—from contractors to a variety of employees—must have access to the plant network in order to maintain effective operations. But bad guys are out there who may try to hack in, just to see what they can do—or for even more nefarious activities. Maintaining access along with security is a challenge that is now attracting many talented people. It’s good to see the visibility starting to get results.

For more information, see the informative Webcast, “How to Manage Security and Mitigate Risk,” at http://www.automationworld.com/view-2960.

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