Matt Newton

Recent Posts

Automation 101: AC motors

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 28, 2017 9:01:22 AM

This is the first post in a series of upcoming posts on Industrial Automation 101 topics.

These posts are geared towards people new to the industry who are looking for basic information on how some of the gear in the industrial automation field works, when to use it, and maybe even how to troubleshoot it here and there.

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Topics: Process control, Discrete control, Electronics

Are you protecting your SCADA system from ransomware?

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In a previous blog post we covered what ransomware is and how it’s being used to target industrial users like water and wastewater SCADA systems.

Ransomware is basically when a hacker obtains control of your data, or even your control network and automation systems, and won’t relinquish control back to you until a ransom is paid.

It's a major potential threat against IIoT applications.

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Topics: PACs, Security, IIoT

Social Engineering: Your automation network's largest security vulnerability

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM


When most people think about cyber security, they probably conjure up thoughts of someone locked away in a dark room, wearing the same grey hoodie for months. Staring at a screen for days at a time looking for just the right network packet to tell them where and how to attack. But that's not always how hacking is done.

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Topics: Process control, PACs, Networking, Security

Will Blockchain Secure Your Industrial IoT Network?

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 16, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Most people relate the term blockchain to an Internet currency or peer-to-peer payment system called Bitcoin.

But there’s way more value to blockchain technology than just a payment system.

And it just might help us solve a lot of problems related to industrial cyber security, particularly in Industrial Internet of Things applications.

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, PACs, Security, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

Building the IIoT With DevOps

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 14, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Sure, the industrial Internet of Things sounds cool. Real cool, in fact. But how do you do it and where do you get started?

For a self-proclaimed technology geek like myself, the industrial Internet of things (IIoT) is a pretty exciting topic. I wasn’t exactly born digital (individuals who have grown up with the current state of ubiquitous computing and communications).

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Topics: IoT, PACs, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

Adding Cognitive Computing To Industrial Automation

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

There’s a lot of talk these days about artificial intelligence, the cloud, and cognitive computing.

But what the heck do those things have to do with industrial automation, and why should automation professionals be getting up to speed on these technologies?

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Topics: Discrete control, Internet of Things, IoT, Machine builder, PACs, I/O, REST API, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

An IIoT Standard To Rule Them All!

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Who doesn't love a good Internet standard? I remember when I first got started in the technology world, reading RFCs was a great way to put myself to sleep at night.

But during the day, they did help considerably when trying to solve tech problems with hardware or software that wasn’t quite conforming to a defined technical specification. And that’s a problem we’re seeing with the Industrial Internet of Things today.

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

Your IoT middleware checklist

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 2, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In a recent developer survey conducted by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, IEEE IoT, and Agile IoT, 40.8% of respondents indicated that the IoT solutions they were either currently building or planning to build are IoT platforms or IoT middleware.

Almost every large IT or OT company today has some form of IoT platform or middleware.

In fact, right now there are over 150 self-described IoT platforms in the market today. Not neccessarily created equally.

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Topics: Energy management, PLCs, IoT, PACs, REST, IIoT, Node-RED

Debugging your industrial network with Wireshark

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Note that the information below applies not only to PCs, PACs, and PLCs, but to pretty much any industry-standard compliant network device.

There are a ton of great network analysis tools out there today that you can pay huge sums of money for. But a go-to industry standard, and my tool of choice for everyday network troubleshooting, is a free piece of software called Wireshark.

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Topics: PLCs, IoT, PACs, Networking, IIoT

From IoT to IIoT: an industry pivot

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 23, 2017 8:00:00 AM

This week Opto 22 is exhibiting at the Open IoT Summit in Portland, Oregon. The IoT Summit is a Linux Foundation event, packed with a ton of technology workshops and product demos.

We also exhibited at the IoT Summit last year. It’s a great chance to connect with the Linux developer community and get their perspective on things, since it’s so much different from what a typical industrial automation professional is exposed to.

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Topics: groov, Internet of Things, IoT, PACs, API, REST, mobile, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, Node-RED, GPIO

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