Configuring for Security

The most important thing you can do to secure your network involves people.

We’re beginning the second year of Automation World’s Industrial Ethernet Review. Actually meant to cover all the technologies associated with Ethernet, this Special Report takes a dive into various hot topics concerned with industrial networking based on Ethernet.



Security has perhaps been the greatest concern for engineers and information technology (IT) professionals since the first industrial networks were put in place to connect machines and plant control to other devices. Once a wire is connected to a controller, the possibility exists for unauthorized entry that could result in catastrophic situations. Now that most networks are also connected to the Internet, that potential entry is expanded to the entire world.



Contributing Editor Terry Costlow will be writing all four quarterly issues of the IER. This month, he dives into the security issue by interviewing several acknowledged experts in the field. The actual technologies are fairly well known—even though they can always bear repeating. The most essential security measures have nothing to do with technology. The most important thing you can do to secure your network involves people. Make sure that appropriate security policies are in place and that people are regularly reminded of them and their importance. Simple things such as not writing passwords on sticky notes attached to computer monitors can save you much grief. We are reminded again that engineers must learn networking skills in addition to control and manufacturing skills.



Follow-up Webcast



The information featured in this month’s publication will be expanded into a Webcast on March 8 with a stellar lineup of speakers. This will also be an excellent opportunity for you to ask them the hard questions. You can register for the Webcast at



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