SCADA Summit 2021 Preliminary Program

SCADA Technology & Networking Advancements Track

Information Synergy: Integrating Data Across Disciplines and Functions

Andrew West, B.Eng., B.Sc., MIEEE, Regional Technical Director  SUBNET Solutions, Inc.

Derick Mack, C.E.T., Substation Integration Specialist • SUBNET Solutions, Inc.

Automation systems typically integrate diverse controller types. The adoption of new generation controllers and IIoT devices have expanded the range of equipment types and vendors now being integrated into systems. The majority of systems also have multiple users such as operators, configuration and maintenance engineers, asset managers and plant maintenance engineers who each need access to various information in a system. Additionally, there can be multiple different applications that have disparate needs for collection of data from the system, such as the SCADA control center, fault analysis teams, data historians, work management systems cybersecurity monitoring, regulatory compliance and other corporate applications.

 

Traditionally, access to operational data (e.g. SCADA access) is well standardized and interoperable between vendors and device types, but access to other forms of data in the system, especially asset management; configuration and maintenance data and management of cybersecurity of access are typically handle in a proprietary manner by each device. The introduction of any new controller or IIoT device is typically done for operational reasons: The integration project often focuses exclusively on operational functions and does not consider other users or their needs.

 

This paper discusses an architecture for data sharing across applications and subsystems. It serves to highlight potential benefits that can be achieved by considering all data use cases when integrating new control devices into a system, and ensuring that all stakeholders can gain access to information relevant to their roles, while also ensuring appropriate role-based access management so that each user cannot inadvertently (or deliberately) interact with system data or functions that are not their responsibility.

Enhancing Surface Water Treatment through SCADA Integration

Michele Risko, Manager of the Drinking Water Standards Section • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

The presentation will discuss the importance of efficient architecture and integration of SCADA to enhance the treatment of surface water for public drinking water purposes under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Discussion will focus on regulatory considerations to ensure minimum Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) treatment technical and monitoring and reporting compliance.

 

Topics will include programming PLCs with rule requirements, data retention, going beyond the SWTR to enable enhanced performance, development of process constraints to mitigate risk, maximize operator impact through timely and relevant notifications, reporting functions to facilitate daily operations and regulatory reporting, and protection of public health through security practices. Planning considerations will be proposed to build resiliency for your surface water treatment plant and SCADA communications in times of adverse weather, reduced communications, aging infrastructure, and overcoming other utility challenges.

Case Study: Florence, AZ Smart Water/City Platform Development

Brent Billingsley, Town Manager • Florence, Arizona

The presentation will discusses Florence Arizona's development of a Smart City infrastructure system that allows them to aggregate and analyze real-time data to improve efficiency, reduce cost and waste. The platform utilizes open architecture, open-source software, security, data storage and machine learning. Technology included in this system include IoT sensors for water meters/AMI, fleet management, lighting, thermostats, alarms, LoRaWan, and HMI, al networked to a main SCADA hub. Technology partners include: T-Mobile, Mueller & SmartWater, IoT Advent, Zayo, Electrum Foundation, Ferguson and Subex.    

SCADA Data Tells a Story

Marcia Gadbois, President and General Manager ADISRA

In order for SCADA data to tell an accurate story, it needs to be more than dashboards that show what is happening in the industrial process.  It needs to be more than visualization and exploration of the data.  The data needs to present actionable analytical information that enables operators to make informed decisions whether to alter their processes and ultimately bring value to the organization.  It is about getting data to the right person in a consumable way. 

 

Organizations are becoming more digitized, the SCADA system will evolve to be more contextually data-driven and provide actionable storied information specific for individuals with the organization.  SCADA with analytics puts context around the data so that users of the data can accelerate insight and make informed data-driven decisions.   

 

This presentation will explore SCADA analytics and how we can consume data to effectively become an informed data-driven organization. 

How to Gracefully Integrate MODBUS, SNMP, and Other "Smart" SCADA Protocols

Andrew Erickson Application Engineer  DPS Telecom

For decades, simple dry contact closures and analog readings were the bread and butter of SCADA. Today, more and more devices are billed as "smart" - meaning they can communicate using some kind of digital protocol. This is generally positive, but it's certainly a challenge for anyone developing a SCADA system.

 

Suddenly, you have new elements to juggle. Also, it's not as though you get to start from scratch with a modern "smart" system. Out of both logistical and budgetary necessity, you must integrate your existing infrastructure with your new "smart" devices. After all, the only truly effective SCADA system brings all of your equipment under a single umbrella.

 

In this session, Andrew will introduce the basic structure of both MODBUS and SNMP protocol messages. This includes MODBUS registers and "feature codes", as well as SNMP MIBs and OIDs. You'll understand the difference between these polled and asynchronous protocols, and you'll know how to cleverly compensate for serious structural weaknesses in the standards. You'll also get walkthroughs of several methods of smart-device integration. You'll learn how (and when) to use on-site mediation devices vs. a central server. To teach you these concepts, Andrew will share multiple recent examples of equipment installations - from small private companies to the US Federal Government.

 

The Evolution of IoT Platforms in Multi-Site Operations

Michael C. Skurla is the Chief Product Officer  Radix IoT

The IoT acronym has given rise to a myriad of products flooding the market. The actual application and advantage of these technologies, however, has been a convoluted topic within all verticals.

 

Built infrastructure whether in buildings, factory automation, logistics, or really any application is a combination of many subsystems, all of which offer a tremendous amount of data now (IoT coined or not). Regrettably, much of the data has been locked up in proprietary ecosystems to date and has been unable to be harnessed for higher purposes collectively. IoT platforms have emerged to address this disjointed architecture allowing a more comprehensive and I.T. friendly way to enable actionable business intelligence. IoT ‘things’ certainly add more data points, but the ability to collect and communicate with everything into one location, while also having real-time and historical data is the key to creating business altering solutions from data.

 

The primary learning objectives of this program include:

  • Define an IoT Platform and how it differs from building management systems (BMS/EMS), SCADA solutions and individual control solution. It truly is not a replacement of any of these. 

  • Discuss the practical definition of IoT in the constructed world and the idea of a sensory network of players in any application.

  • Define Hot data (compared to cold data), and how it relates to an ROI story, and the advantages beyond just simple payback - including what is organically driving this shift by end users and the use within buildings beyond simple energy savings.  

  • Recognize a ‘platform’ and how it differentiates from a ‘system’, and what advantages a layer such as this plays particularly in multisite operations. (Including case studies).

Case Study Session: Cloud SCADA Deployment to Control 75% of Guatemala ́s Distribution System

Jorge Guillen, IT Manager • ENERGUATE Distribuidora de Electricidad de Oriente, S.A. (Guatamala)

Rob Sadler, Director of Business Solutions • Minsait ACS (Advanced Control Systems, Inc.)

Attend this session to learn about a project that was designed to provide a state-of-the-art solution for Energuate – managing 80,000 kilometers and providing electricity service to more than 2 million customers in Guatemala. Minsait ACS and Energuate decided that the most innovative, cost-effective option was to fully deploy Energuate’ s SCADA system in the cloud. Partnering with AWS, this project is the first deployment of this nature and this size.


Using PRISM 12 running the Oneview user interface, Energuate has immediate access to critical system information while they monitor and control the operational status of the entire Guatemalan electricity distribution network. Energuate realizes significant improvements in incident resolution times due to faster identification of issues, thereby increasing the productivity of the operators. Energuate now has access to advanced analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to facilitate learning and continuous improvement while reducing supply interruption times and service quality indexes.

Real-World SCADA Transformations To Unleash Operational Data

Jeremiah Hannley, P. Eng, CTO and Managing Partner • Streamline Control

Understanding and having access to the right data at the right time is a powerful driving force to move your business forward. We will discuss how Streamline use an IoT/MQTT middleware to enhance our clients’ operational assets from the field to the board room and allow them to make important decisions in a meaningful way. Through this session, we will walk through a real-world example where we worked with a large midstream company to transform their outdated SCADA system and future proof it using an industry leading solution to do data collection, dashboarding and customized reporting.

Connecting the Smart Grid with Satellite IoT

Reinaldo Burian, Business Development Manager, Utilities  ORBCOMM

The Electric Power distribution systems should be integrated with the corporate solutions of power generators and distributors, so as to guarantee greater reliability, availability and speed in response to emergency moments, fault occurrence, the need to send maintenance teams and maneuvers in the system, aiming at reducing the SAIDI and SAIFI indices and ensuring an increase in quality of the electric power supply to the end users, at a well-balanced cost.

 

Satellite telemetry connectivity technology presents itself as an optimized solution for the monitoring and control of reclosers and other protection equipment in the electrical network, as well large consumers such as industries and hospitals integrated to a Smart Grid solution.

 

Many concessionaires have had problems to achieve highly available and reliable communication channels between the devices installed in the field to the SCADA installed in the DOC (Distribution Operation Center) of the Utilities, in regions with unstable telecommunication coverage or critical points that require redundancy or with no telecommunication coverage, which becomes a techno-financial market differential for large concessionaires and electric power cooperatives.

 

Learn how satellite telemetry connectivity solution acts as a contingency for cellular networks and other technologies, or as a main communication vector in electric distribution companies, since traditional solutions have presented failures at critical moments in the network, mainly due to inclement weather and periods of peak consumption or in case of overload of the electrical system.

Analytics Moves to the Edge

John Petze, Partner and Co-Founder  SkyFoundry

The advances in data analytics for equipment and device data have transformed operational
efficiency for organizations that have embraced the technology. The first generation of analytics for the sensors equipment systems and IoT devices that focused on a dependence on the “cloud”. By this we mean that the vast majority of products, software and services were designed with the requirement to transmit all data from equipment systems up to the cloud where analytics and the generation of visualizations and reports would then be performed.


This approach may have been a natural way to start, but it is not viable to address the realities of the IoT. The full benefits of data-oriented applications can only be achieved with a software architecture that provides computing at the “edge” as well as the cloud. The realities of many applications demand that the entire stack of data-related functions and services — data acquisition, storage, processing, analytics and the generation of visualizations — must be able to be performed at the edge, without dependence on the cloud. This presentation will discuss the capabilities and benefits of applying advanced analytics from the edge to the cloud.

Bridging the IoT and SCADA Gap

Brad Witter, CEO  Blue Pillar

In many markets, on-premise and autonomous solutions are here to stay. However, a gap exists between the traditional form of SCADA and the challenge to cost-effective and simply connect remote equipment and sites.

Municipal water companies that need dedicated, and often off-net, SCADA systems are a perfect example. Water operators struggle with finding cost effective solutions for gaining access and secure control of their remote pumping stations. Typically, these sites have one or two pieces of equipment and are in remote areas which do not lend themselves to traditional SCADA technology and price-points.

 

Over years of delivering solutions to complex campuses that often have remote sites to consider, we have come to believe the answer is BOTH IoT and SCADA. There is a place and need for both technologies within most customer environments. While understanding these is crucial to picking the right tool for the job, interoperability becomes the final challenge.

 

Once the correct approach has been chosen for the customer need, integration becomes paramount. How does the customer access (and want to access) the data? Where does the overall historian live? Who and from where can users send control commands? Any of them automatic? These answers drive clarity of an end solution but should be driven by an overall straight-forward and flexible solution approach. Learn why it is important to select a SCADA/IoT solution that is flexible and embraces a “BOTH” worlds.

ANSI/ISA HMI 101 - Intuitive Information and Guidance

John Benitz, Chief Technology Officer  GrayMatter

HMI design plays a critical role in determining an operator’s ability to manage an industrial facility’s systems effectively, particularly when detecting and resolving an abnormal situation. Adopting design standards, such as those developed by groups such as ANSI and ISA, allows organizations to add valuable context to data in a way that’s consistent, clear and scalable. Leveraging new technologies to improve automation systems requires a strategy to train new employees and to seek efficient ways to communicate mission-critical data. During this session, GrayMatter Chief Technology Officer John Benitz will discuss how water/water utilities, manufacturers and other industrial organizations leverage high-performance HMI design to enhance change management practices, convert veteran operators’ unwritten rules into intuitive design elements and reduce the learning curve for new employees.

SCADA Security Track Sessions

OT Threat Hunting: Act Before the Breach

Michael Rothschild, Sr. Director, OT Solutions • Tenable

Beyond clear and present OT security threats, what are the most critical OT cyber maintenance issues that can be addressed before the breach? As industrial cyber threats become more sophisticated, responding to a breach after the fact means you’ve already lost the war. When it comes to industrial operations and critical infrastructure, this is too late. It's time to get proactive.

 

Attend this session to learn about “attack vectors,” a proactive method for defending your OT infrastructure before the emergence of an attack.

 

Topics covered will include: 

  • Looking beyond traditional OT security methods for a complete picture of your industrial attack surface

  • Capturing relevant situational data for every device and communication pathway

  • The methods and benefits of OT threat hunting

Cybersecurity Compliance: It Should be Built in, Not Bolted On

Bill Johnson, Founder and CEO • TDi Technologies

Cybersecurity compliance readiness for assets is an expensive, time-consuming process for Utilities. Many times, the process of collecting data for compliance assessments is done manually. This means the data gathering of evidence is prone to human error, creates unknown and inconsistent outcomes, and gives an uncertainty to the quality of data.

Companies often resolve this problem by trying to “bolt on” a point solution whose purpose is storing information. This still creates problems caused by inconsistencies and manual errors consisting of, but not limited to:
 

  • Asset Management databases or spreadsheets containing asset lists which are manually updated with software / OS patch levels that are out of date, inconsistent, and incomplete.

  • Password updates that must be performed manually, and many times at a cadence not defined by regulatory requirements.

  • Monitoring of configuration changes that rely on an individual interrogating a device. In environments with hundreds or thousands of devices, this becomes a daunting task at the cadence specified by regulatory requirements.

  • Checking for viruses and malware is an after-the-fact occurrence using virus and malware scanners.

 

The goal of an organization is to be ready for an audit at any time. With compliance bodies moving toward standardization of required evidence, like the NERC-CIP Evidence Request Tool, these processes require more than a bolted on, manual, human-driven approach. This session will look at making a “built in” cybersecurity approach to compliance. One that is working in the background doing the hard work for you. By making compliance an inherent part of the system, you are always ready, creating efficiencies with consistent, completeness of information from the source of truth.

The Future of Smart Cities: Risks to Transportation Systems and How to Secure Them

Rick Tiene, VP of Smart Cities, Government, & Critical Infrastructure • Mission Secure, Inc.

Every day we are seeing more examples of hackers becoming increasingly sophisticated and emboldened. SCADA and broader industrial control systems (ICS) used in transportation and traffic management signaling systems are prime targets due to their inherent vulnerabilities and the severity of the potential impact on public safety.

 

IT practices attempt to protect servers and workstations; firewalls help protect the network perimeter. But SCADA and ICS assets — peripheral controller equipment and devices within the equipment cabinets — remain exposed to both inappropriate commands and direct intrusion. These vulnerabilities can allow malicious attacks to spread throughout the larger operational network and even into the IT network. As we look to the future, Smart Cities and Intelligent Infrastructures will only increase these vulnerabilities, the desirability to attack them, and adverse impacts.

 

This presentation will highlight the core cyber-physical issues and strategic approaches to begin securing infrastructure transportation systems against 21st-century cyber threats.