Our colleague Héctor García, Industrial Communications Manager at Logitek, was recently in Vigo (Spain) representing our company at the 6th edition of the Industrial Automation Technology and Solutions Sessions. Please find below a summary of his presentation at this event.

OPC-DA, commonly known as “classic OPC” is based on Microsoft technologies that challenge the communication configuration when client and server are in different computers. Furthermore, for this communication some settings need to be done at the computer configuration and this can lead to big security issues.

How can we solve this?
The new OPC (OPC-UA: Unified Architecture) simplifies configuration. Furthermore, the opportunity has been taken to certain common security concepts in the IT (Information Technologies) world, but unknown until now for the OT (Operations Technologies) world.

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How has been received the new OPC by the integrators?
Most of the integrators working on new installations that need a universal communication with OPC, now use OPC-UA instead of OPC-DA for one simple reason: it’s easy to configure. However, there’s a minority aware that communications between computers – particularly when data have to move through open domains like Internet – must be a secure communication.

How to ensure communications security?
There are threats that can attack our data, but some concepts applied in the OPC-UA protocol minimize these possible attacks.
These concepts might look complex, but there are products like Kepware’s KepServerEx, designed and able to establish a simple and effective secure communication. Regardless of its internal complexity, they ensure a secure communication resistant to any threat.

Is OPC-UA suitable for any product?
Not all products that communicate through OPC-UA implement all security levels – if any. That is why products are needed to ensure the accomplishment of the OPC-UA specification. This seal has to be checked to detect these products: https://opcfoundation.org/certified-products

As a closure to his presentation, Héctor García and we at Logitek would like to thank Nacho Armesto, organizer of the sessions, for the chance he gave us to participate.

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