I/O commissioning and testing

I rant a lot about I/O testing and design. This is a discussion (and more ranting) of some of the tests and practices we do following construction and later during the maintenance cycle to ensure that the controls, and alarms will work as expected. Before I begin, one might wonder if embedded controllers or RTUs […]

SCADA as a Service in the Cloud

As I have pointed out earlier, infrastructure should not become reliant upon other infrastructure. The reason is to avoid common failure modes and to make restoral more straightforward and less inter-reliant. This is why I have been looking at the SCADA-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud SCADA with great skepticism. Let’s start with some obvious questions. Are […]

The SCADA system of Everything?

One of my broad based philosophical warnings to anyone new to the SCADA business is that utility SCADA is Infrastructure. Infrastructure should depend on as few other infrastructural features as possible. The more interdependent they are, the more likely it will be that something in common will break communications for all dependencies and the work […]


People who build SCADA systems over local and wide area networks seem to have this notion that bandwidth and latency are not limiting factors, and security is a problem for someone else. Oh, if only that were true. The first thing everyone should do when working with a new RTU is to disable the services […]

In seeking international cyber norms for states, one should be careful about blowing smoke, sometimes it could start a fire.

Cyberspace by its very nature has an international dimension. Without it, there would be no possibility for the Internet to grow and function. In turn, threats that come from cyberspace also require an international response. Especially the threats to the devices used to monitor and control processes in critical infrastructure from state resourced APT’s. Threats […]

What Features Should an RTU Have?

People may not realize that the concept of the RTU is morphing. In decades past, we were merely looking for something that could report an event. But the goal-posts have moved. So what should an RTU really look like these days? Let’s look at some features: First, the RTU needs to have a clock. As […]

Uninterruptible Power Systems? HAH!

I’m ranting again. This is a recurring plague for me. Allow me to just get this out of my system right now: DELIVER ME FROM THOSE AWFUL OFFICE-GRADE UPS BOXES! I hate the damned things. Why? Because some idiot who can’t be bothered to deal with the more difficult issues just grabs one off the […]