Network switches form part of complex ring topologies, with a different segment allocated to each port and any outages being absorbed to minimize any operational impact. Advanced software configurations help to anticipate any faults, misuse, or manipulation. As a one-on-one replacement could potentially disturb the ring’s operation, a disaster recovery procedure is essential and should describe the components that can be replaced and how this should be done.

Organizations use network segmentation for various purposes, including cybersecurity. The main reason for segmenting networks is to reduce the exposure, or intrusion, of network traffic in a control system. This improves the system’s response and reliability and provides a certain degree of protection in terms of cybersecurity. In addition, several network segments within the control system of other systems can be segmented, adding another layer of protection.


To segment network components in VLANs and protect those VLANs with an access control list, it is important to be aware of all the potential traffic between the VLANs. Testing and tracing the various PLCs and their communication to other PLCs, or the communication from the engineering station to the PLC or server, is a considerable challenge. All of these different types of communication must be identified and, if found to be valid, approved.

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