[I want to try to coin a new term that could be very useful: Control System IT. The discussions on “Operations vs. IT” or “control systems are different than business networks and applications” are legion. And like most long running arguments there is some truth in both sides’ cases.

But if we step back from the discussion, don’t both sides want to apply the best and appropriate parts of IT solutions and practices to control systems? We acknowledge a lot of the IT solutions and practices can be used, but some need to be modified a small amount, some a large amount and some need to be discarded because of the requirements of a control system. So we have control systems as the modifier or adjective for IT – – Control System IT.

Control System IT, like IT itself, represents more than security. It includes issues like designing and running a switching and routing infrastructure, network management, backup and restoration, directory services, virtualization, life cycle management … And much like we bemoan that control system security is lagging well behind IT security, the same is true for many other parts of IT.

This term, as simple as it is, is an epiphany for me. A YES, this is what we have been trying to do for the last ten years. Maybe it is a small thing, but if we can find a term that helps even in a small way get past the long running arguments it would be a nice win. Questions like do you have experience with Control System IT? What additional steps in the change management process are required for Control System IT? Statements like in Control System IT we have to insure any planned or potential device outage does not cause an unplanned process outage. Or the appropriate use of VLAN’s in Control System IT. Or DNS strategy in Control System IT. Or, bringing it back to security, how to decide between IDS and IPS on a granular rule by rule basis in Control System IT.

You will be seeing Control System IT a lot more in this space and in other Digital Bond media.

Note: My apologies in advance if someone else is using this term and I failed to give them credit. My search did not find it.