The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) in Sept. 2020 convened a workgroup of 37 industry leaders from across the globe to define best practices for secure remote access to plant equipment. The result is a 90-page guide providing a comprehensive guide of the benefits, trends and challenges of remote access. The guide is now available.

Based on the expertise of key leaders from the automation ecosystem — from major manufacturing companies, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators (SIs) and automation vendors — the report balances the requirements of end users, plant operators, IT departments, and equipment and solution suppliers. ei3, an IIoT company with 20 years of providing secure manufacturing connectivity, facilitated the meetings and identified critical topics that were subjected to in-depth review, for example:

  • The evolution and ever-growing role of remote access on shop floors
  • Review of the effectiveness of technologies and techniques currently being used for remote access using well-established maturity models
  • Overcoming organizational IT/OT barriers
  • Understanding the industrial automation network architecture
  • Legal liability aspects of remote access
  • Methodologies to reduce risk posed by cybersecurity threats

"By documenting the best practices for Remote Access, OMAC has developed a practical and vendor-neutral guide that would assist in a secure deployment of Remote Access to respond, resolve and support manufacturing operations," says OMAC Chairperson Ron MacDonald. OMAC plans to continue to monitor the technology landscape for remote access to provide ongoing knowledge and experience to the manufacturing industry.

The guide is available free of charge to all individuals in manufacturing and the public at large.

Download the guide here.