Enabling secure information exchange in Cloud environments

A Nexor white paper

In industry, the ability to perform real-time data analysis on Operational Technology (OT) plays a key role in driving business success. However, organisations attempting to make this a reality find that internal data sharing is constrained by the fundamental differences which exist between OT and Information Technology (IT), as well as the priorities of the personnel that use them. With so much at stake is it possible to resolve these differences in a manner that considers the needs of both sectors? The answer to this question could be found in the cloud.

Whilst the use of the cloud in conjunction with IT systems is apparent everywhere, it may surprise you to learn that OT systems commonly transmit data to 3rd parties for a variety of reasons. Therefore, a cloud service which acts as a bridge between the two sectors would enable data to be shared without the need for direct interaction or integration.

Enabling Secure Information Exchange in Cloud environments white paper - Data lifecycle diagram

 

The industrial data space and its reference architecture are key to creating such a cloud service as it sets out standardised rules and controls for data sharing and use. This enables data from different manufacturer-specific products to be platform agnostic, allowing for easy access and analysis. It also ensures that the data owner retains control over their data, which is essential to attracting users to the service.

In this paper we explain the reasons behind IT and OT differences, and the potential benefits that can be achieved through circumventing them. We go on to set out how a cloud-based data sharing service, which utilises IDS architectures, could achieve this both securely and efficiently.

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