IT-OT Current Events Assignment

I ask students in our IT-OT Fundamentals course to create a short slide presentation about a current event in industrial automation — which they then share with the class.

The assignment increases their familiarity with industry trade publications and gives them a sampling of intriguing news.

Ethernet to the transmitter (SPE), and connected pumps were a couple of developments that caught my attention — because they represent a transformation of both input and output. Couple this with cloud services, and things can get very interesting.

A couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Utah State University in Logan, where we talked with the fine people running the innovative Center for Anticipatory Intelligence. At lunch, one faculty member asked me a very thoughtful question (especially for someone who isn’t a cybersecurity person): “Do you think the new systems being built today are more or less vulnerable than what we’ve created in the past?”

My response? “On the whole, I am afraid we are making the most vulnerable industrial processes we’ve ever had.”

That should give us a lot to think about – with important implications for how we educate and train the emerging workforce.

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