Rockwell Automation and Cisco combine to reduce security risks in industrial automation

Rockwell Automation and Cisco have announced new additions to their Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architectures to help operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT) professionals address constantly changing security practices. 

The latest CPwE security expansions, featuring technology from both companies, include design guidance and validated architectures to help build a more secure network across the plant and enterprise.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is elevating the need for highly flexible, secure connectivity between things, machines, work flows, databases and people, enabling new models of policy-based plant-floor access. 

Core to the new validated architectures is a focus on enabling OT and IT professionals to use security policies and procedures by forming multiple layers of defence. A defence-in-depth approach helps manufacturers by establishing processes and policies that identify and contain evolving threats in industrial automation and control systems. 

The new CPwE architectures leverage open industry standards, such as IEC 62443, and provide recommendations for more securely sharing data across an ‘Industrial Demilitarized Zone’, as well as enforcing policies that control access to the plant-wide wired or wireless network.

“The key to industrial network security is in how you design and implement your infrastructure and holistically address security for internal and external threats,” said Lee Lane, business director, Rockwell Automation. 

“The new guidance considers security factors for the industrial zone of the CPwE architectures, leveraging the combined experience of Rockwell Automation and Cisco.”
 “Security can’t be an afterthought in today’s plant environment. As we connect more devices and create more efficient ways of operating, we also create certain vulnerabilities,” said Bryan Tantzen, senior director, Cisco. 

“Cisco and Rockwell Automation have been teaming for nearly a decade on joint solutions, serving as the standards-based resource for security in industrial environments. These new architectures and guides build on our collaboration by helping organisations recognise and proactively address today’s security concerns.”