Special video report. Whether it’s Germany’s Industry 4.0, Made in China 2025, or France’s Creative Industry, the goal is to build tomorrow’s factory. But how ? In an effort to find an answer, we went to Saclay near Paris where French researchers and manufacturers are developing and testing tomorrow’s industrial technologies in two lab factories. Watch our investigation report.
Cybersecurity.Mr. Robot got hacked on a fair in France, while WannaCry popularized a new form of cyber-attack: the ransomware.
Tradeshows. We were invited to attend PTC’s 2017 edition of LiveWorx that took place in late May in Boston. Watch our video report on the launch of ThingWorx8, the editor’s new version of its IoT platform.
Service robots, AGVs, virtual reality. We’re at Industrie Lyon, the largest French industrial trade show. Every two years, 1000 small and medium-sized companies introduce their latest technologies. One of this year’s leading themes is cybersecurity. We’re talking to Manoel Bizien, a Stormshield engineer. Specializing in information security, the company is presenting a new industrial firewall and a cybersecurity plateform, which involved other companies such as Automatique & Industrie, Axians, Schneider and Siemens. Manoel suggests hacking a pharmaceutical industry robot to test the efficacy of the solution. He launches Stuxnet, the worm that attacked an Iranian nuclear plant in 2010. Watch the report.
Last month, more than 126,000 people in more than 100 countries were victim of a massive worldwide ransomeware attack, a form of hacking designed to encrypt the target’s data pending payment of a ransom. The WannaCry cyberattack infected U.K. National Health System, Spanish Telcommunication company Telefonica, French...
Dancing laser beams opened PTC’s 2017 edition of LiveWorx that took place in late May at the Boston Exhibition Center. Clients, partners and even Barack Obama’s CTO, Aneesh Chopra, made it to New England for the launch of ThingWorx 8, the software editor ’s new version of its IoT platform. ThingWorx enables customers to easily build apps, merging data from the physical and digital worlds. We were invited to attend PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann’s keynote address. Watch our video report from Boston.
Tel Aviv-based industrial cyber security company Indegy was founded to prevent operational disruptions from cyber attacks, malicious insiders and human error. DirectIndustry e-magazine talked to Dana Tamir, VP of Marketing, about providing comprehensive visibility into and management of industrial control networks.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Please tell us about your platform.
Dana Tamir: The Indegy platform is based on proprietary patent-pending technologies developed by our team of industrial control systems (ICS) security experts. It is purpose-built to provide real-time visibility, situational awareness and activity monitoring for ICS networks and to alert personnel to events that might disrupt operations.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Can you explain the technologies?
Dana Tamir: Control Plane Inspection (CPI) is a passive, deep-packet inspection engine specifically designed for the unique characteristics of industrial control systems. It monitors all control plane engineering activities performed over proprietary, vendor-specific protocols and captures changes to controller logic, hardware configuration, firmware downloads/uploads, user settings and tag additions/deletions. CPI provides real time alerts and a comprehensive audit trail of all activities performed over the operational network. Agentless Controller Validation (ACV) is a patent-pending technology used for validating the integrity of control devices and ensures no unauthorized changes are made. It surveys the controllers using their native certified protocols and API, guaranteeing zero impact on performance while gaining maximum visibility. It periodically verifies control device firmware, control logic and settings, providing full visibility. ACV captures all changes to programmable logic controllers, remote terminal units and distributed control system controllers, whether performed over the network or directly on the physical devices.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: How do these elements help protect a system from cyber attacks?
Dana Tamir: Each core technology focuses on different and unique aspects of the control plane activities and solves different ICS visibility challenges. The combination of these innovative technologies provides unmatched visibility into ICS activities, especially control plane events that impact critical controller logic. It ensures all activities are captured.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Where do the cyber attacks usually come from?
Dana Tamir: Cyber threats can come from external sources or already exist within the network. Regardless of the source, Indegy identifies in real time any suspicious or unauthorized activity and sends an alert to enable engineering and security staff to respond before damage occurs. The detailed alerts and comprehensive audit trail enable our customers to quickly pinpoint the nature of unknown ICS activities and decide how to mitigate threats.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: Who are your main customers?
Dana Tamir: They include power, energy and water utilities, chemical, pharma and consumer goods manufacturing companies, automotive manufacturers and food and beverage companies.
Birds are real pests in many situations, and can constitute a significant hazard for airplanes. While most attempts to control bird landings in the past have failed, a new laser technology seems to be working well.
In the Netherlands, Bird Control Group and the Technical University of Delft have teamed to develop laser technology which is achieving success rates of up to 100%. Both organizations dedicated years of research to develop the ultimate laser beam. This was accomplished by applying a combination of highly precise optics, filtering and light frequencies. By using this technology, the company says it has come up with an effective, yet harmless method of repelling birds.
The company’s Agrilaser Autonomic is a stationary installation which works automatically. The Agrilaser and Aerolaser Handheld devices are compact portable units which can be used in a wide variety of situations. Steinar Henskes, chief executive officer of Bird Control Group, said their systems reduce the number of birds by 70 to 100%.
The principle of repelling birds with a laser beam is inspired by nature. Birds perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical object. It stimulates their survival instinct, causing the birds to fly away. That is the same reflex as a car that drives towards birds. This is a different stimuli as sound, which is a sign for a physical danger but there is nothing visible. It is also different from a stationary danger, like the old fashioned scarecrow. This is visible but does not move towards birds and therefore causes habituation.
Courtesy of Bird Control Group
According to Henskes, the technology has been developed to go into safe mode when using at airports, so as not to disturb aircraft landing or taking off nor to affect pilots.
We developed a patented safety feature which measures when the laser beam is projecting into a predefined dangerous area and switches it off. We call it the Horizon Safety System.
The laser can also be set to point directly at the ground and is only used to disperse birds resting on the ground or on man made structures. In the case of airports it should never be pointed into the sky, therefore not shining directly into planes or pilot eyes.
An English organic egg farm in West Sussex has found an original use for the new technology. Orchard Eggs installed the laser system to scare off migratory birds, preventing them mixing with the farm’s chickens. This allows the chickens to stay outdoors without fear of bird flu contamination.
Camille Rustici is a Video Journalist and the Editor-in-Chief for DirectIndustry e-magazine. She has years of experience in business issues for various media including France 24, Associated Press, Radio France…
Lindsay Clark is a freelance journalist specializing in computing. He has won industry awards as news editor at Computer Weekly. He has also written for newspapers including The Guardian, The Financial Times…