Rockwell and Cisco Release New Architectures for OT and IT

By CIOReview | Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MILWAUKEE, WI: Rockwell Automation, a provider of industrial automation and information solutions and Cisco announce new additions to their Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architectures. As the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is elevating, the need for a highly flexible, secure connectivity between things, machines, work flows, databases and people is increasing.

Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) architecture represents a collaborative development effort from Cisco Systems and Rockwell Automation. It is built on, and adds to, design guidelines from the Cisco Ethernet-to-the-Factory (EttF) solution and the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture. The CPwE solution is designed for industrial Ethernet applications.

The new CPwE architectures benefit open industry standards, such as IEC 62443, and provide recommendations for more secure data sharing across an industrial demilitarized zone. It also emphasizes on policies that control access to the plantwide wired or wireless network.

 The additions will help operations technology (OT) and IT professionals to address constantly changing security practices. The latest CPwE security expansions, feature technology from both companies, include design guidance and validated architectures to help build a more secure network across the plant and enterprise. It will enable analysis of machine data on the plant floor together with determining optimal operation and supply-chain work flows for efficiencies and cost savings, claim the companies.

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

The two companies will provide a common, scalable architecture for ruggedized industrial Ethernet and enterprise networks. To help manufacturers define and meet performance metrics and scale in-house resources, services such as security assessments and managed security is also offered.

“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,” says Bryan Tantzen, Senior Director, Cisco.