Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Omron, Cisco to secure Manufacturing

William Payne
June 14, 2018

Industrial automation company Omron is to integrate Cisco's networking and security technology into its programmable logic controllers. The two companies plan to work together to enhance security in manufacturing sites with IoT.

Omron and Cisco will work together with the aim of constructing a more secure environment where PLCs, as core automation components, provide security authentication for three discreet elements: people at manufacturing sites; devices connected to machinery and production lines; and data exchanged. 

By integrating Cisco’s network and security technology with Omron’s controller technology, the companies aim to contribute to advances in manufacturing by enabling the safe and secure use of IoT at manufacturing sites.

Prior to forming this technological partnership, Omron developed the Machine Automation Controller NJ Series, a PLC that comes standard with the OPC UA server and is compliant with the security enabled global communications standard. The new PLCs are designed to enable secure data communication with software and devices supporting OPC UA.

Combining Omron’s PLCs with Cisco’s network and security technology through this technological collaboration, the companies aim to expand the range of solutions available for the authentication of people and devices.

Under their envisaged collaboration: 

  • PLCs will authenticate user access and grant secure remote access (VPN) only to authorised users, facilitating the safe monitoring of PLCs and machines at manufacturing sites 
  • PLCs will detect device connections, block access from unauthorised devices, and issue alerts in real time; PLCs will encrypt communication data and ensure that data are transmitted appropriately 
  • they will also detect and record unauthorised access and security threats by monitoring and visualising details of data in the network.