Cyber Security Configuration management database use cases

This article starts to draw parallels and highlight differences. It gives an insight into the complex and diverse ways of setting up, maintaining, and managing a manufacturing shop floor CMDB. The term ‘shop floor’ is used to describe IT assets such as computers, servers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Human Machine Interface (HMI) and other IP-enabled equipment used at manufacturing sites in the production and analysis of products.

Four of the main findings are:

1. Managing cyber security risk and asset management are the main drivers for implementing shop floor CMDB solutions. This differs from pure IT (non-manufacturing), who typically implement CMDBs to facilitate the adoption of service management process. This also reflects the growing importance of cyber security to manufacturing functions.

2. Implementation of shop floor CMDBs is complex and resource intensive. This is reflected in the diverse use of CMDB vendors and the different levels of maturity each respondent reported in their path to implementation.

3. Despite reference texts (O'Donnell & Casanova, 2009) advocating the use of federated CMDB architecture, less than 50% of companies use this architecture. Reasons for this divergence are organization structures, technology constraints and historical decisions.

4. Alongside the shop floor CMDB, manufacturing functions are considering the adoption of new technologies to scan the shop floor for asset configuration information. This indicates that one of the main hurdles to accuracy (the manual updating of asset information) will ultimately be mitigated using these tools.

5. The sheer volume of data generated from automated scanning tools also suggests that, moving forward, the CMDB data model, management, reporting, ownership, and governance will become paramount moving forward.

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