An article on Vendor Cybersecurity written by exida engineers Patrick O'Brien and Greg Houser has been published in Efficient Plant Magazine.
External connections from industrial control systems (ICS) to third-party vendors are becoming much more common. Today, many manufacturers of distributed control systems (DCS) and package PLCs require connections to the ICS for monitoring and data collection or, in some cases, even the ability to remotely configure and connect to the control system. For some applications, the vendor connection may be a choice for the owner/operator of the ICS where, in exchange for allowing the connection, they may receive faster responses and support to troubleshoot issues. However, in other cases, particularly with package PLCs, the third party may require an ongoing connection with monitoring as part of the conditions for the unit warranty, offering little flexibility to the site owner.