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Combine Best-of-Breed Machine Condition Monitoring with Absolute Data Security


The Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) offers great connectivity and ease of access, but the same things that make it great can also be risky if your use of the IoT isn’t properly protected.


Increasingly, company leaders are turning to Industrial Internet of Things (Industrial IoT) embedded sensors to equip machinery with the ability to collect operational data in real-time. This new found flood of data may in fact be sensitive business intelligence information such as granular, second-by-second production output. Industrial IoT empowers organization personnel to collect data about the operative health of machinery and determine what is normal — and what is not. The resulting condition-based data, combined with predictive analytics, yields “actionable intelligence” that when acted upon, can help prevent costly failures.

Bernard Marr, in a recent Forbes article, introduced this concept as “edge analytics” and defined it as “designing systems where analytics is performed at the point where (or very close to where) the data is collected”. Marr summed it up with “the principle that makes edge analytics such an enticing prospect is that it means bringing the analytics to the data, rather than the other way round”.

The experts at LogiLube have developed an Industrial IoT solution that cuts down unnecessary field service trips, eliminates human error and provides real-time monitoring of machine health by utilizing “edge processing” and custom algorithms. LogiLube SmartOil™ is a machine-mounted, real-time oil condition monitoring system that is designed to improve the reliability and uptime of natural gas compression equipment used in the gas-gathering, NGL separation, and gas distribution pipeline systems. SmartOil has targeted the oil and gas, alternative energy, and power generation sectors of the energy industry to monitor mission-critical equipment and optimize operational efficiencies.

This SmartOil system can help organization personnel, such as plant managers and reliability engineers, collect data which is then used for intelligent purposes like condition monitoring (CM), predictive analytics, and data-driven decision making. A deeper understanding of physical lube oil condition determined by lab analysis, in conjunction with highly accurate, real-time oil properties measured by IoT embedded sensors, can predict machine degradation before the point of failure. Real-time oil viscosity values measured by IoT in situ sensors, combined with the total base number (TBN) and particle count from physical oil sample analysis can be viewed in an easy-to-read graphic-style web dashboard. LogiLube SmartOil provides an unprecedented level of efficient data collection and predictive analytic capabilities that can save companies millions of dollars from downtime-related production losses and capital asset replacement costs.

As operating budgets decrease, particularly in the oil and gas market, more and more organization decision-makers are searching for ways to reduce costs. Enterprise asset management (EAM) is one method organization leaders can use to reduce the cost associated with production losses due to equipment failure and the resulting downtime failures cause. However, these decision-makers want to be assured that using the Industrial IoT to enable EAM is secure and does not invite hackers searching for a backdoor to control operations or sniff business sensitive data.

Security and the Industrial IoT

Industrial IoT security risks need to be addressed because each machine connected via the internet also presents a possible point of weakness that can be exploited to gain access to sensitive data or as a gateway into an organizational network. To help ensure company staff can securely collect CM data and generate actionable intelligence, the experts at LogiLube have partnered with Waterfall Security Solutions professionals to incorporate unidirectional gateway technology into the SmartOil data networks.

The benefit of real-time production monitoring pales only in comparison to the risks that are associated with the Industrial IoT. Machine production monitoring is accomplished using Industrial Control Systems (ICS). In the past, there was relatively low risk to ICS’s because they were contained in proprietary systems. Today, most ICS’s are connected to the Industrial IoT, which, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), puts them at greater risk.

According to DHS reports, there were 295 ICS breaches in 2015. An estimated 98% of those breaches could have been prevented had proper information security strategies been in place in those organizations.

Top among information security strategies that DHS recommends is the use of unidirectional gateways to allow data to flow in only one direction, preventing intrusion through any incoming data. Unidirectional gateways separate the industrial network from critical assets, making them completely inaccessible.

According to Linda Musthaler in her Network World blog, these unidirectional gateways are far more secure than the traditional ICS firewalls because they provide absolute protection from attacks that originate on external networks.

LogiLube Platinum Level Data Security™

LogiLube experts offer the greatest possible security options to protect your consistently monitored Industrial IoT-enabled machinery. LogiLube combines real-time production monitoring with machine learning, predictive analytics, and 100% effective security so clients can have complete peace of mind. Click here to get more information.

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