Connectivity requires cybersecurity to exist and succeed. All the promised benefits of The Connected Enterprise—faster time to market, lower total cost of ownership, improved asset utilization and enterprise risks management—can't and won't happen without effective security.

"One of the key sticking points in moving forward in The Connected Enterprise is cybersecurity, but a lot of collaboration and skills will be needed to make it happen, and none of us can do it alone," said John Nesi, vice president of market development, Rockwell Automation.

The good news is that many useful software and other tools are emerging to aid cybersecurity efforts. The bad news is, it's difficult in real-world applications, facilities and organizations to find the time, money, labor, cooperation, expertise, training and commitment to implement them.

"It's difficult to talk about cybersecurity without trivializing its breadth and scope, but the truth is that cybersecurity is an extraordinarily non-trivial challenge," said Tyler Williams, global technology leader for industrial cybersecurity, Shell Global Solutions. "We've been working on cybersecurity since 1993, and we've had a lot more 'uh-oh' moments than 'aha' moments. We understand the value of connectivity, applying analytics, cloud computing and augmented reality, and the challenge with cybersecurity is people want it done today, but it's really a long-term journey.

"Our problem is that everyone is talking about the cloud, but we're still trying to patch Windows 3.1 software in some locations. We appreciate that it's important to invest in new technologies, but many of them don't yet work with how we're operating at our 137 plants. We're trying to do traditional, labor-intensive patching from 30 suppliers, so let's get automation blacklisting protection done before we try to protect against advanced persistent threats."

To bridge this gap and find the security that connectivity must have to survive, Rockwell Automation and several of its expert partners came together for a panel discussion, "Securing Industrial Control Systems in a Connected Enterprise," on Nov. 17 at its Automation Perspectives media event, just before the opening of Rockwell Automation Fair 2015 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The participants included Williams and Nesi, who moderated the panel, as well as Jeff Jones, principal cybersecurity strategist at Microsoft; Maciej Kranz, vice president of the corporate strategic innovation group at Cisco; Tyler; and Frank Kulaszewicz, senior vice president of architecture and software at Rockwell Automation.