REO UK – Securing industrial plants against hacking

07-07-2017 | REO (UK) Limited | Subs & Systems

The recent WannaCry cyber attack was widely reported on how it largely targeted NHS trusts in the UK. However, many factories attacked across the world were not reported, shutting down production and causing concerns about data security. Steve Hughes, managing director of power quality specialist REO UK, looks at how companies can reap the benefits of interconnected devices while staying safe in the age of cyber attacks.

REO UK’s REOVIB and REOTRON units are examples of the types of devices that can be connected to a FIELDBUS network. They are used in processes such as food manufacturing, water treatment, cathodic protection and surface coatings.

These units are standalone control units which directly control conveyor systems, allowing plant managers to control the fill-level and guard against overflow. They can also monitor the speed of the feeder and its performance.

Plant managers should adhere to standards such as IEC 62243, which makes provisions for the network and system security for industrial-process measurement and control. This will limit the damage caused to employees, businesses and the wider industry from a potential cyber attack.

Everyone is aware that IoT devices are good for industrial plants but the recent wave of cyber attacks is causing many to question their presence. However, with the right security measures in place, smart monitoring devices can play a pivotal role in the modern factory and should be embraced, rather than shunned.

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