Festo technical paper demonstrates how to maintain network security while applying Industry 4.0 techniques

Industrial automation specialist Festo has published a new technical paper entitled Using the Festo IoT Gateway in Enterprise Networks.  Network security is paramount to ensure the integrity of data when implementing Industy 4.0 principles in the manufacturing industry.  The paper offers practical tips on how engineers can link their devices safely using the IoT Gateway to fully realise the benefits of Industry 4.0 and increase efficiencies.

“Network security is vital for protecting the confidentiality, availability and integrity of a company’s assets,” says Steve Sands, head of product management at Festo. “The paper clearly shows engineers how the IoT Gateway can be connected to the Internet while maintaining the network architecture for all other network hosts, and therefore ensuring secure communication.”

The paper outlines traditional production network structures in the manufacturing industry and describes how they have typically been completely separated from the Internet. However, with the advance of Industry 4.0 there is a need for increased communication from controller to controller or subsystem to subsystem, and for horizontal as well as vertical connectivity with a single, uniform information model – including the Cloud. It goes on to discuss the imperative for architectures to be developed that will allow a second communication channel for read-only access to information in field devices while leaving the hierarchy for control untouched.

Festo’s IoT Gateway connects components and modules from the field level to the Cloud, enabling machine and system builders as well as end customers to significantly improve their overall equipment effectiveness. The technical paper describes a solution using Debian GNU/Linux in a virtual machine to connect the IoT Gateway to the Festo Cloud while complying with the latest security recommendations.

“Publishing information from manufacturing devices to the Internet is a sensitive undertaking and requires thorough planning,” continues Sands. “In a worked example, the technical paper details a low cost approach for companies to ensure their data is protected from cyber- attack, but the concepts also apply to more complex enterprise networks with hardware firewalls.”

The technical paper is the latest in a suite of materials intented to support customers on their Industry 4.0 journey. It is based on Festo’s extensive experience on the topic: the company already applies Industry 4.0 principles in its main manufacturing facilities and offers training courses to help others do the same.

Using the IoT Gateway in Enterprise Networks is available free to download from www.festo.co.uk/i4securitytechpaper

To access the latest news and reports on Industry 4.0, and keep abreast of all the latest developments, please visit: www.festo.co.uk/I40news

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