Industry 4.0, Internet of things or IIoT are topics that challenge not only IT but also automation experts. IIoT needs highest flexibility and adaptability, especially for industrial Ethernet networks. Additionally, the network needs to stay highly available. When thinking of IIoT you cannot ignore IT security. However, Industry 4.0 and the connected security cause the responsible personnel quite a headache since they do not want to fall victim to cyber criminals. Therefore, a thought-out concept is indispensable.
When data is exchanged, it can also be manipulated. Therefore, Industry 4.0 and Cyber Security are tightly woven together. But it is not enough to upgrade classic security systems since conventional firewalls are not suitable for the industrial environment. An industrial firewall for example can execute a deep packet inspection for industrial protocols to identify anomalies in the data stream. Cyber Security is a wide field, starting with the physical protection against entry to network components and ending with data encryption for the transmission into the cloud.
Modern machines are highly interconnected, not only with the company’s network, but also with the internet for remote access. The connection to the peripheral system or other machines for an automatic production is mandatory. This leads to higher demands on the industrial network. The network components need to be available in the rugged industrial environment while also offering the needed protection. To achieve this, redundancy protocols are used. With fast switching they enable the uninterrupted production of automation networks in case of connection outages. Highly available, rugged and secure network components are the basis for the communication of every modern machine network. Switches and routers also protect against unauthorized access.
Ethernet networks are an essential part of modern automation and controls environments. Therefore, the operating personnel relies on network monitoring in order to reduce unplanned outages. A modern network management software for industrial Ethernet networks supports automation protocols such as CIP, PROFINET, OPC-UA, Modbus, BACnet etcetera to recognize automation devices such at PLCs, I/Os or HMIs. It also offers an integrated topology card as well as information and conditions of automation and network resources to support personnel in managing and attending the industrial network.