So, is “IT/OT convergence” just another gimmicky buzz term?

You could argue that it is. Whenever someone has caught onto a new idea, there is an attempt to make it memorable and to make it sound like “the best new thing since sliced bread.” So, of course, someone is going to come up with a catchy phrase that is supposed to inspire change, and that they can use for marketing.

The thing is, however, this “convergence” of IT and OT is really just the next extension of making data usable.

What Is IT/OT Convergence?

Some time ago, we saw the start of automation in…


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Updates from ISA99 on the Status ofand Plans for-ISA/IEC 62443

The ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance (ISAGCA) was formed in part to help increase awareness and adoption of the ISA/IEC 62443 standards, the world’s only consensus-based series of automation cybersecurity standards. This blog series shares insights into the creation and evolution of the standards.

The ISA99 committee of the International Society of Automation (ISA) has developed the ISA/IEC 62443 standards, arguably the most comprehensive and authoritative source of guidance about industrial automation and control systems cybersecurity. The committee consists of several smaller working groups, each focused on a specific theme or topic. It conducts much of its regular business in web…


The integration of IT and OT is a well-established trend, driven by the business benefits that typically come with richer real-time information sharing, analysis, and response. While the cybersecurity concerns of this integration are numerous and potentially significant, the horse has left the barn, so to speak, and cybersecurity teams need to respond strategically across infrastructure domains.

This integration of technology is driving an associated integration of IT and OT cybersecurity teams and a consolidation of responsibility for strategy. An interesting byproduct of that consolidation is the application of best practice IT cybersecurity models in OT environments. …


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Welcome back to our series on marketing for industrial automation businesses. If you haven’t seen the first four parts of this series, you may want to go back and check those out first before reading this one, just so you’re up to speed.

In this edition, we’ll talk about more modern methods of marketing that you might not be consciously aware of-or maybe you thought they just weren’t for you. We’ll cover channels such as podcast ads, OTT (over-the-top), CTV (Connected TV), and more. These channels will require some investigation on your company’s part, as they might not be a…


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Like it or not, digital transformation is real, and must be a part of your overall business strategy. While most messaging focuses on the undeniable benefits and opportunities, few articles focus on the reality of most companies: they have a lot of older equipment and legacy platforms that still work well, but aren’t currently able to support a digital transformation.

What do you do? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? In this article, I will highlight a few common scenarios that I have come across as companies attempt to tackle their digital transformation journey.

Current Reality

Depending on your industry…


Misconceptions about ICS/OT cybersecurity are stubborn. This “mythbusting” blog series dispels five common myths related to ICS cybersecurity. Catch up on the series if you’re interested:

Now, let’s dive in.

ICS Cybersecurity Myth #4

Serial communication (non-routable) between a control center and remote sites (such as onshore oil rigs, electricity substations, or mines) provides immunity from cyberattacks

Serial communications such as RS-232 or RS-485 are logically isolated communication methods that provide controlled communications. There is a common assumption that any serial communication (non-routable and not over Ethernet/TCP/IP) is intrinsically secure and protected from cyberattacks.

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Source: NIST SP 800–82

Busting ICS Cybersecurity Myth #4

Serially connected remote industrial sites or…


There are specific cases where the usage of a thin client to access the OT system environment, for operation or engineering, can be advantageous when compared to a traditional desktop computer.

Thin clients can simplify the deployment, cybersecurity, and maintainability of OT systems by utilizing remote desktop or virtual desktop solutions in lieu of full-fledged desktop computers.

Introduction

OT systems used in process facilities require one or more operator interfaces and one or more engineering interfaces to operate and monitor the production process.

These interfaces are typically known as operator workstations (OWS) and engineering workstations (EWS), respectively. Sometimes, depending on the…


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Today’s economic pressures in the oil and gas industry require streamlined operations with fewer people, faster and more reliable equipment, and a smaller footprint on the environment. Wells are getting deeper and more complex, making it harder for companies to run profitable operations. This reality, plus the pressure of lower oil prices, gives drilling operators a sense of urgency for optimizing processes.

Automated, integrated data analytics can help achieve this optimization. Data analytics is essential to delivering unconventional drilling results in a cost-efficient and safe manner. Drilling companies must develop modern tools for gathering and organizing real-time data from operations-enabling…


Titans of Automation

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The International Society of Automation (ISA) explores the lives and careers of some of those who have made the biggest impact on the world of automation since the organization was founded in 1945.

#1 and #2: W. Brittain and W. Schockley, Transistor Inventors

The device that changed everyone’s life in industrialized society- including the process control industry- was the transistor, invented in 1947 by John Bardeen, Walter Brittain , and William Schockley of Bell Laboratories. Arguably the most important invention of this century, the transistor opened the electronics age, driving out many pneumatic or air-based controllers of the 1920s and ’30s. …


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Experts have been predicting for decades that the insurance industry would eventually help drive better private-sector cybersecurity practices by pricing premiums based on cybersecurity risk.

The idea is similar to the way insurance carriers encouraged businesses to adopt fire suppression technology and consumers to buy automobiles with safety features such as seatbelts and airbags.

Unfortunately, the cybersecurity insurance market is growing more slowly than many would like, and is unable to adequately provide the market incentives for better security hygiene that some envisioned. An article published last year in the IEEE Security & Privacy Journal concluded:

“Cyber insurance appears to…

International Society of Automation - ISA Official

The International Society of Automation (isa.org) is a non-profit professional association founded in 1945 to create a better world through automation.

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