Communication Module With CIP Security Boosts Performance

CIP Security provides increased protection, leveraged by Rockwell Automation’s Allen-Bradley communication module and configured by their FactoryTalk software and services.

Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley ControlLogix EtherNet/IP communication module
Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley ControlLogix EtherNet/IP communication module

Rockwell Automation, a supplier of industrial automation, released its Allen-Bradley ControlLogix EtherNet/IP communication module, which is designed to improve security and system performance for industrial companies.


The Allen-Bradley module is created to leverage the new ODVA security enhancements, known as CIP Security. CIP Security creates a more robust level of protection in control applications by making sure that information is exchanged between authenticated devices, without interference or theft.


CIP Security uses three key capabilities to provide this increased protection:


  • Authentication: limiting communications to only authorized devices
  • Integrity: preventing packet tampering or modifications
  • Confidentiality: encrypting communications to prevent snooping or unauthorized data disclosure


The Allen-Bradley ControlLogix EtherNet/IP communication module is designed to provide CIP Security capabilities to ControlLogix systems. When combined with the ControlLogix 5580 controller and the Kinetix 5700 drive, it allows a CIP Security zone to be created, according to the company. A CIP Security zone defines a set of devices that share a common set of security requirements, providing another degree of access control.  


The Allen-Bradley module is also made to increase performance in networked operations, have 1-gigabit per second communications speeds, and support future network or infrastructure expansions.


Rockewell Automation says their FactoryTalk Policy Manager software and FactoryTalk System Services can configure CIP Security. These allow users to tell devices who to trust and allow security configurations to be consistently modeled, validated, and deployed to all devices, which can reduce the risk of human error, according to the company.

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