We take the power of the internet for granted. We have come to expect access on demand – any time, any place, anywhere. In the same way that our daily lives are increasingly reliant on cyber technologies, our business processes also hinge upon them. Neglecting the integrity of your systems and their data is an existential threat.
High-profile security breaches and industrial-scale corporate espionage have blasted cyber security onto the front pages. It is no longer the IT department’s concern, but a corporate-level risk, which should be discussed by the board.
The issue does not only exist in the defence and security sectors, but in a broader range of industries. Professional services firms, for example, should be aware that their proprietary client information represents an increasingly attractive target. The cyber threat applies to us all, regardless of size or location.
For manufacturers in the process industries, the pro- cedure for selecting the best automation technology is not as easy as it once was. In the past it was fairly easy to determine whether a PLC or a DCS was right for your application, because their strengths and weaknesses were well understood. In recent years this has become more dificult, thanks primarily to the advancement of the microprocessor, which has allowed the technologies to merge. Let’s forget about the classic stereotypes and look beyond technology to find the “sweetspots” where each system is best applied.
When considering one of these systems, you should ask yourself these 7 questions, designed to make you think about your company’s operating philosophy and application requirements. We will provide a list of possible answers per question.