Isn’t it great to meet your respected peers all in one place to share ideas on improving industrial business performance?

Executives, engineers, developers and analysts did just that at the ARC World Industry Forum in Orlando recently.  And Cisco representatives were there to discuss the challenges and rewards of networking in industrial environments. Here is a summary on forum discussions specific to cyber security, the Internet of Things and risk management.

Brian Uffelman is a Security Solutions Architect for the Cisco Connected Industries Group.  In this video Brian summarizes his talk on securing the end-to-end (Plant-to-Business) network from internal network threats.  Brian speaks of the benefits of a complete security architecture that starts in the DMZ to keep threats out of the network and extends security all the way to the individual production user.

Bob Dean is an Executive Director on Cisco’s Business Transformation team.  He frequently participates in thought leadership discussions and at the forum, he chaired an interactive round table discussion on Process Risk Management. Security representatives from some of the world’s top industrial and consulting firms participated in the talk. They reviewed topics ranging from the strategic importance of getting senior and board-level buy-in, the importance of risk in company culture, risk outside the company in the extended value chain, as well as standards, certification and training.  Cisco and its partners offer services that range from assessment to implementation to on-going network management, to help enterprises manage risks.

Maciej Kranz, the Vice President and General Manager of the Cisco Connected Industries Group, joined a panel to talk about the opportunities and challenges related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Maciej pointed out that IoT will dramatically improve productivity for automation and control industries.  And as IoT and industrial-grade networking solutions get everything connected, industrial companies will face new challenges at the application level.  Maciej explained that these challenges are addressed by Cisco networking architectures for:

  • The convergence of factory automation to business processesConverged Plant and Business
  • Security, including identity and threat defense, to prevent intentional or accidental malicious activity, and prevent data from leaving the confines of industrial and business environments
  • Remote management and monitoring of globally distributed industrial processes like assembly lines and oil rigs.
  • Processing and analyzing “big data” from sensors locally to make real-time decisions and take immediate action, without the latency of attempting to send all data over 4G to public and private clouds
  • Preventative maintenance on fleets and cars for immediate information about engine components that need to be serviced, before the engine breaks down

Maciej pointed out that IoT won’t improve productivity slowly. Instead, it will improve capability by 20 and 30 percent.  And this positive impact will affect all participants in the industrial space, from end-users to suppliers, to integrators and vendors.

Want to learn more about solutions that can improve industrial performance and prepare your industrial network for the Internet of Things?  Check out Cisco Industrial Smart Solution resources.