An Intuitive Guide to IIoT Gateways

An Intuitive Guide to IIoT Gateways
The Siliconreview
23 November, 2021

What are IIoT Gateways?

Have you ever thought about security? If you live in a house, the answer is certainly yes. A popular way of visualizing industrial cybersecurity is to imagine factory networks as houses. Just as the gateway in the garden wall lets mailmen come and go but stops pets from running loose, IIoT gateways are the checkpoint to the internet for industrial devices.

How factories stay secure with IIoT Gateways

In a factory, any lapse in cybersecurity could be expensive, disruptive, even lethal. Malicious tweaks to production systems could ruin the entire line. Worryingly, ransomware attacks on factories are only getting more common. But IIoT gateways take the trial out of industrial by bunching device datalinks into a single encrypted internet connection. Leading IIoT gateways, like Secomea’s SiteManager, enhance this privacy to the nth degree with a rock-solid TLS VPN connection. SiteManager is a particularly flexible gateway, running in both PLCs or PCs as software, or as a palm-sized hardware package.

How factories get productive with IIoT Gateways

The advantages of connected industrial machines smother the risks. Industrial cloud analytics might yet save the planet as factories analyze machine data for inefficiencies, cutting power consumption. Remote device access springboards machine maintenance, allowing breakdowns to be preempted well in advance by technicians off-site. IIoT gateways are the bedrock on which these services rest, acting as the hub for the myriad of communications protocols used by industrial machines. SiteManager for example supports Modbus, Siemens S7, Rockwell CIP, Ethernet/IP and more. Complexity is the enemy of safety, so a good IIoT gateway makes access to machines convenient. SiteManager achieves this to a tee. With out-of-the-box integration into Secomea’s gateway and access management server, GateManager, multiple SiteManagers can be administrated and access can be controlled down to a single IP address.

Interconnectivity and IIoT Gateways

If you’ve read this far and think IIoT gateways are a key part of the cybersecurity toolbox, you’re not entirely correct – they’re also excellent labor-saving devices. Some IIoT gateways give business owners the freedom to set up secure connectivity between distant sites, reducing procedural headaches. SiteManager achieves this with a static link plugin (called LogTunnel) that can exchange information between devices (such as SCADA systems, PLCs, and HMIs), at remote locations. In brief, if you’re a factory owner looking to connect aggregated devices to remote services, there’s an IIoT gateway out there that can secure your machinery.