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SCADA IoT & LoraWan

Learn about the difference between SCADA and IoT systems and how they work and compare to one another.

What are SCADA systems?

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have been used for decades to monitor and control production facilities or equipment across industries such as oil and gas refining, energy distribution, water management, waste control and telecommunications.

SCADA systems are in use as a major tool for controlling industrial equipment since the 1960s.

A SCADA system works by collecting data from local and remote sensors and sending data to a centralized command-and-control location from where central computers control remote machinery or plants.

What are IoT systems?

Internet of Things (IoT) systems have emerged recently. IoT systems offer a level of automation within a machine-to-machine communication framework in which machine learning and artificial intelligence usually play a role.

IoT systems include interrelated devices that have unique identifiers (UIDs) and transfers data over a network without interaction.

How do SCADA and IoT work together?

While SCADA systems are standard with industrial systems, IoT adds features and functionality where SCADA ends.

SCADA and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) concepts and their overall system architecture face cybersecurity challenges since they are a likely target for advanced hacking groups. Control systems for industrial use are also a desired prey for government-backed hackers, which poses real challenges to the security of SCADA and IoT industrial control systems.

Cyberthreats to SCADA and IoT Systems

SCADA systems usually manage Industrial Control Systems (ICS), which in turn manage machines and other industrial equipment used in industries as varied as oil and natural gas, energy and water utilities, chemical and pharmaceutical, food and beverages, car and aircraft making and durable goods manufacturing. The same is true for industrial IoT networks, which are rapidly expanding across multiple industry verticals.

These are mostly critical industries that operate complex industrial equipment networks, often across continents. If your organization operates a SCADA or an IoT control system, you should be prepared for cyber-attacks coming from three directions:


  • Groups of hackers that want to plant ransomware on your systems
  • Competitors who are employing bad industrial espionage practices
  • Nation state actors who are after your sensitive data or plan for taking over your business-critical production management tools under a more complex scenario.

An industrial control system will never be free of threats as it appeals to many bad actors. The number of identified SCADA vulnerabilities averages between 47 and 467 a year, according to a report by Trend Micro.


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