Industrial Control Systems


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What Are They?

In a nutshell, Industrial control systems (ICS) are computers that control the world around you. They're responsible for managing the air conditioning in your office, the turbines at a power plant, the lighting at the theatre or the robots at a factory.

Common Terms

ICS Industrial Control System
SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition
PLC Programmable Logic Controller
DCS Distributed Control System
RTU Remote Terminal Unit


The following protocols are some of the languages that the industrial control systems use to communicate across the Internet. Many of them were developed before the Internet became widely used, which is why Internet-accessible ICS devices dont always require authentication - it isnt part of the protocol!

Modbus is a popular protocol for industrial control systems (ICS). It provides easy, raw access to the control system without requiring any authentication.

Explore Modbus

S7 (S7 Communication) is a Siemens proprietary protocol that runs between programmable logic controllers (PLCs) of the Siemens S7 family.

Explore Siemens S7

DNP3 (Distributed Network Protocol) is a set of communications protocols used between components in process automation systems. Its main use is in utilities such as electric and water companies.

Explore DNP3

The Fox protocol, developed as part of the Niagara framework from Tridium, is most commonly seen in building automation systems (offices, libraries, Universities, etc.)

Explore Niagara Fox

BACnet is a communications protocol for building automation and control networks. It was designed to allow communication of building automation and control systems for applications such as heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and fire detection systems.

Explore BACnet

EtherNet/IP was introduced in 2001 and is an industrial Ethernet network solution available for manufacturing automation.

Explore EtherNet/IP

Service Request Transport Protocol (GE-SRTP) protocol is developed by GE Intelligent Platforms (earlier GE Fanuc) for transfer of data from PLCs.

Explore GE-SRTP

The HART Communications Protocol (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol) is an early implementation of Fieldbus, a digital industrial automation protocol. Its most notable advantage is that it can communicate over legacy wiring.

Explore HART-IP

PCWorx is a protocol and program by Phoenix Contact used by a wide range of industries.

Explore PCWorx

MELSEC-Q Series use a proprietary network protocol for communication. The devices are used by equipment and manufacturing facilities to provide high-speed, large volume data processing and machine control.

Explore MELSEC-Q

FINS, Factory Interface Network Service, is a network protocol used by Omron PLCs, over different physical networks like Ethernet, Controller Link, DeviceNet and RS-232C.


The protocol the Crimson v3.0 desktop software uses when communicating with the Red Lion Controls G306a human machine interface (HMI).

Explore Crimson v3

Over 250 device manufacturers from different industrial sectors offer automation devices with a CODESYS programming interface. Consequently, thousands of users such as machine or plant builders around the world employ CODESYS for automation tasks.

Explore Codesys

IEC 60870-5-104

IEC 60870 part 5 is one of the IEC 60870 set of standards which define systems used for SCADA in electrical engineering and power system automation applications.

Explore IEC 60870-5-104


ProConOS is a high performance PLC run time engine designed for both embedded and PC based control applications.

Explore ProConOS