Rockwell: Security a business enabler

Security awareness is on the rise throughout the industry. Security is becoming a business enabler that can provide manufacturers more than just an insurance policy.


Security is truly a business enabler that can provide manufacturers more than just an insurance policy. It can show real bottom line results by allowing manufacturers to keep their systems up and running and more productive.

That was one of the ideas behind a discussion with Rockwell Automation and Cisco before Rockwell's Automation Fair 2014 kicked off in Anaheim, Calif.

Security awareness is on the rise throughout the industry, but the idea of security being a business enabler is not resonating yet. But it will.

"Most manufacturing companies don't get it yet," said Bryan Tantzen, senior director of discrete manufacturing in the Connected Industries Group at Cisco Systems.

"Cyber is a board level issue," said Rick Esker, senior director of Industry Solutions Group-EcoSystems Global Domain Leader, II and CRE at Cisco. "It is at the top of the shop. Security is a necessary entity."

"We can't tell a manufacturing company they have to invest in security by scaring them, that just won't work," said Sujeet Chand, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Rockwell Automation. "When they think about security, the change will occur incrementally."

One of the many areas Cisco and Rockwell agreed on was the relationship between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) seems to be getting stronger.

OT is looking more toward learning and using the IT expertise to enhance the plant floor environment, Tantzen said. "Bring the teams together. OT is looking for security help from IT."

"More customers are having IT take over networking on the OT side," Chand said. "I can't remember any meeting I have had where there was not an IT person in the room."

In a perfect security world, IT could just go out and tighten security controls to the degree where the systems can barely run. But, obviously, that is not what a manufacturer needs to keep its processes up and running.

"Clamping things down is not the way to go," Chand said.

Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (, a news and information website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector. This content originally appeared on the ISSSource website. Edited by Joy Chang, Digital Project Manager, CFE Media, 

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
click me