CommunicationsIssue 47 -2022Product

Secure Remote Monitoring of Process Systems

A solution using cloud-capable routers and cloud-based computing services enables streamlined and secure remote monitoring and access for process systems.

Jonathan Griffith, product manager for AutomationDirect, wrote an article for the October 2021 issue of Processing titled Remote Monitoring Powered by Cloud Services. Here’s a summary, click on the link above for the full text.

Many end users are looking for ways to make the connection from new and legacy operations technology (OT) systems to business information technology (IT) resources for data logging, visualization, and analytics. Implementing these industrial internet of things (IIoT) projects with cloud connectivity is an effective approach, but it creates security concerns. A complete solution consisting of cloud-capable routers and cloud services, each specifically designed for this task, is often the best way to easily and securely provide remote access and monitoring functionality.

Security from Edge to Cloud

Data is typically sourced from site-located controllers installed on machines and equipment. The right combination of networking, software, routers, communications protocols like MQTT, and cloud databases will provide data access and transmission, but how do users ensure a secure design?

cloud diagram

To start, any solution should be certified according to the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. Because most legacy industrial controllers were not designed for security, an intelligent router with a built-in firewall is a good choice to connect with the field data on the LAN and to transmit it up to the cloud via the WAN.

The AutomationDirect StrideLinx VPN router meets all these requirements, and features:

  • Secure connectivity protocols like HTTPS, MQTT over TLS and secure VPN.
  • Uses only outgoing ports to comply with corporate IT requirements.
  • Offers access restrictions and two-factor authentication.
  • Includes advanced capabilities like router failover and local data logging for improved reliability.
StrideLinx and BRX PLC

The AutomationDirect StrideLinx remote connectivity and monitoring solution is powered by cloud services distributed throughout worldwide data centers, providing low-latency connectivity and redundancy. Users benefit from:

  • End-user data ownership.
  • Kubernetes cluster open-source technology for high-performance application deployment, scaling, and management.
  • Relational, non-relational, and time-series databases for optimum data handling.
  • Extensive management services with anomaly detection, audited by third parties.
StrideLinx diagram

Remote process monitoring performance with security

While many processing companies would like to take advantage of remote monitoring, access, and visualization of their automated systems, it would be difficult for them to create and maintain a secure way of doing so from scratch.

By choosing an end-to-end solution with cloud-capable routers and an associated cloud solution developed using the latest standards and technologies, these users can quickly implement a safe, reliable, and trustworthy IIoT platform.

The AutomationDirect StrideLinx solution can help users of all types implement remote access projects quickly and securely.

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