Cyber security is necessary for process control networks if they intend to integrate with business networks. Due to the pervasive nature of Windows and DCOM, when the IT department locks down communication, many applications, including OPC applications are immediately and frequently terminally affected. The good news is that if plant and business systems are configured and maintained correctly, network security and OPC can coexist nicely.
Addressing cyber security between plant production and business systems is a complex task that most IT and Automation groups are hesitant to undertake. IT may not be familiar with complex industrial systems and any errors can adversely affect production. From the perspective of industrial automation, challenged with IT security they would rather just run autonomously and let a communication ‘gap’ remain between these systems.