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Welcome to the official blog of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

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5 Recent Great Reads in IIoT

If you're interested in the vast potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), you may not have time to keep up with new developments minute-by-minute. Thousands of IoT blogs and news sources exist, and the quality varies. Many don't even address the industrial side.

So we're going to help cut through the noise this month. We looked for relevant articles published in July 2020 that you might find newsworthy, useful, or interesting. Here's a sample of current news and thought leadership that affects the world of IIoT right now. Let us know what you think in the comments.

1. EE Times Europe: "How to Get the Full Value from Your Factory Floor Data"

IIoT is great at producing enormous amounts of data. It's a driving force behind the phenomenon known as Big Data—the recent rise of data sets that are too large or complex for traditional data processing techniques to handle. A report from IDC estimated that the world's data is on track to grow from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 zettabytes by 2025. (For some context, one zettabyte is equivalent to one trillion gigabytes.) A key portion of this growing resource is streaming data generated by IIoT equipment, medical devices, personal wearables, and other smart devices connected to the Internet.

This article dives into the new field of industrial data science. It defines important challenges in managing Big Data in industrial settings, and it shares how one company manages its project workflow for data mining.

2. TechRepublic: "Self-Driving Cars: Will Buyers Come if You Just Build Them? Maybe"

No new technology will see wide adoption right away, but self-driving cars have been around since the 1980s. Why is it taking so long for autonomous vehicles to go mainstream? It isn't just a technology issue. This article looks at why consumers are having a hard time with the concept. 

3. Internet of Business: "Empowering the Manufacturing Evolution: IoT Security and Digital Transformation"

This article from a Microsoft IoT executive looks at the state of IoT in manufacturing today, reviewing its most common industrial applications, the need to build a skilled workforce, and security prioritization for mission-critical equipment. IoT has helped many companies quickly change their organizational models this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this article's author notes an increased interest in IIoT services for remote monitoring and assistance—as well as solutions for control and automation.

4. IIoT World: "The Wake-Up Call for Stronger Authentication: California's IoT Bill SB-327"

Enforcement of the cybersecurity law CA SB-327 began on July 1, 2020. The so-called "IoT Bill" is directed at manufacturers producing devices that all carry the same default password, making them easy for hackers to access if users don't reset them. This new law requires manufacturers of smart devices to program a unique password into each device, or to force users to set their own password the first time they connect.

The author of this article argues that the IoT Bill signals the beginning of the end of shared-secret authentication like passwords; he suggests that other alternatives for securing devices could be used more in the future.

5. IndustryWeek: "Making Difficult Connections"

Organizations in every industry struggle with maintaining seamless connectivity to IIoT equipment. This article looks at one case study in the critical infrastructure space: the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), responsible for treating more than 1.7 billion gallons of water daily. To maintain one of the largest critical infrastructures in the U.S., GLWA needed a seamless data connection between control centers and multiple remote sites. Learn about the process this organization undertook to find and set up a stable cellular solution.

Interested in reading more articles like this? Subscribe to ISA Interchange and receive weekly emails with links to our latest interviews, news, thought leadership, tips, and more from the automation industry.

Kara Phelps
Kara Phelps
Kara Phelps was the content manager for ISA from 2019-2021.

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