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

OptoNews Tip: Essential network cables & adapters

Posted by Jean Femia on Mar 15, 2017 4:31:37 PM

When you're working on your network, what's in your toolkit? 

For automation networks or IT computer networks, a few essential cables and adapters should be in your kit.

That way you've got them handy, whether you're troubleshooting network problems or just keeping your equipment and line up and running.

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Topics: Tips, optonews, Integrators, Networking, OptoNews 2017-03-15

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

The rise of the IoT middleware platform

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 21, 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 the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions they were either currently building or planning to build were IoT platforms or IoT middleware.

Almost every large IT or OT company today has some form of IoT platform or middleware, with the current number of self-described IoT platforms exceeding 150.

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Topics: groov, Remote monitoring, Tips, IoT, Networking, IIoT, Node-RED, Data acquisition

Basic Industrial Ethernet Network Troubleshooting

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

Ethernet networks have taken over as the prominent bus architecture for industrial automation networks. And for good reason.

Ethernet simplifies and homogenizes connectivity between industrial devices. We don’t have to worry about male or female DB9 and DB25 serial connectors, no concern for DTE or DCE devices, and forget about straight-through vs. null-modem cables. In general, the world is a much happier place.

However, even with the added simplicity Ethernet offers, troubleshooting Ethernet networks can be a bit more involved than serial networks.

Let’s assume you’re trying to establish communication with an industrial Ethernet device that for whatever reason has dropped off the network. Here are a few tips I always use when starting to troubleshoot an industrial Ethernet network.

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Topics: Networking, I/O

Security Risks in Industrial Assets: Analyze before You Buy

Posted by Matt Newton on Jan 19, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Attention industrial engineers: If you're not thinking about how secure that new wiz-bang-flashy PLC or PAC is before you purchase it, you're setting yourself up for a world of pain down the road.

Industrial control systems are used across a wide range of industries, from manufacturing and fabrication, to electricity generation and transmission, to oil refining and water treatment—all industries where a network security compromise could mean huge losses of capital for the business.

Recently we’re seeing many of these traditionally proprietary control systems—distributed control systems, PLCs, and SCADA applications—adding new, more open technologies like Ethernet and TCP/IP. And with organizations' increasing interest in the business advantages of obtaining system data, industrial control systems are now being connected to information technology (IT) networks.

That's scary.

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Topics: Internet of Things, Tips, IoT, Networking, Security, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

OptoNews: Opto 22 now a Dell IoT Solutions Partner

Posted by Jean Femia on Nov 30, 2016 4:07:04 PM

If you're looking to connect real-world signals and industrial "things" to Information Technology (IT) systems, cloud software, and mobile devices, you already know Opto 22 products will serve you well.

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Topics: groov, Internet of Things, IoT, optonews, PACs, Networking, I/O, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, OptoNews 2016-11-30

The Internet of Things Got Hacked

Posted by Matt Newton on Nov 3, 2016 3:37:28 PM

And It’s Going to Happen Again.

Last week the Internet experienced the largest cyber attack in history. Many popular websites went offline for the better part of a day as three waves of cyber attacks hit the DNS infrastructure company DynDNS.

But how could an attack on a single infrastructure company wreak such havoc across the entire Internet?

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Topics: groov, Internet of Things, IoT, Networking, Security, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things

The TCP/IP Model - Troubleshooting the Link Layer

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 17, 2016 4:03:51 PM

In my last blog post I talked about the TCP/IP model and why you should care about it. In a phrase: the Internet of Things (IoT). 

With all the recent attention around the IoT, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and Industry 4.0, I’m sure you’re starting to realize that networking, Internet communication, and network security are going to be important in your job as an automation professional.

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, Networking

OptoNews: Troubleshooting your automation network

Posted by Jean Femia on Feb 17, 2016 3:55:30 PM

When you're troubleshooting a network communications problem, it's often best to start from the bottom and work up. 

Opto 22 engineer Matt Newton shows you how in his recent blog post about the TCP/IP Model:­ Troubleshooting the Link Layer

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Topics: Internet of Things, IoT, optonews, Networking, OptoNews 2016-02-17

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