As manufacturers digitize operations, they’re connecting more industrial assets and using more software to run their factories. A reliable, efficient network on the plant floor is essential. So is effective security to prevent cyberattacks that could disrupt production and cause significant revenue loss and/or major safety hazards. As Dino Busalachi, cofounder and CTO of Velta Technology, explains, “In the IT world, having a blip in the network [is] no big deal. But on the plant floor, you might shut down a million-dollar piece of equipment.”
Traditionally, industrial networks were built and managed by the line of business. But demand for more IT technologies, higher performance, and greater scalability, along with the rise of cyberthreats, is challenging the usual approach. That’s because operations teams are experts in building complex industrial processes and running operational technologies (OT), but they often lack the experience of modern IT networking and security capabilities. Similarly, IT teams have modern networking and security expertise but typically little knowledge of the machines on the factory floor.
Building on over 20 years of experience helping industrial organizations digitize their operations, Cisco and its partners are helping to bridge that gap. In North America, for instance, Velta Technology is taking advantage of Cisco industrial security solutions to help manufacturers and their systems integrators to design secure industrial networks from the start.
Together with OT systems integrators and panel builders such as Barry-Wehmiller Design Group, Cisco and Velta Technology can facilitate productive conversations between IT and operations teams. With this support, operations can increase performance while maintaining control of production environments, and IT can optimize network resources while securing the global enterprise.
“The operations teams have different requirements than a typical IT organization [does]. Part of our job is to make sure that operations and IT continue to communicate,” explains Josh Rabaduex, director of Barry-Wehmiller Design Group. “We want to make sure that we help manufacturing keep their production goals [and] IT security in mind, and we want to keep both teams working together.”
As Busalachi notes, “[Velta Technology’s] expertise is industrial cybersecurity. Gaining visibility into these environments is the foundation for everything. The combination of Cyber Vision and Cisco IE3x00 switches makes it very simple to gain that visibility at scale. It’s the foundation for a robust industrial network and a comprehensive approach to OT security.”
Velta Technology’s capabilities, together with Cisco’s purpose-built industrial switches and Cisco Cyber Vision, help organizations to deploy industrial networks in which security isn’t an afterthought—it’s incorporated by design. With this approach to OT visibility and security, industrial organizations can unlock greater IT capabilities, higher performance, and greater scalability—all while addressing applicable regulatory and compliance concerns.
To learn more about how Cisco and its OT systems integrators partners can help you to build advanced and secure industrial networks, please contact us, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Cisco IoT Security Newsletter.