Energy and Climate

SCADA Images

  1. What is SCADA?
  2. What comprises a SCADA system?
  3. Where are SCADA systems used?
  4. Why the sudden concern about SCADA systems?

Q: What is SCADA?

A: SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.
SCADA systems are used in utility infrastructures as a
computer-based monitoring and control system that centrally
collects, displays, and stores information from remotely-located
data collection transducers and sensors to support the control
of equipment, devices, and automated functions.


Q: What comprises a SCADA system?

A: All hardware and software elements associated with the control
and monitoring of a system, including GUIs, databases, sensors,
relays, switches, remote telemetry units (RTU), networks,
applications, etc.


Q: Where are SCADA systems used?

A: They are used in various applications requiring real-time and
near real-time process control, e.g. electric power, oil and gas
pipelines, water treatment and distribution, and chemical processing.


Q: Why the sudden concern about SCADA systems?

A: Concerns are based on:

  • Greater awareness of critical infrastructure issues.
  • Studies and assessments have found a lack of security in SCADA
    systems.
  • More reliance on Internet and COTS software bring in new
    vulnerabilities.
  • Increased and validated threat (terrorist, extremists, activists).

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