Your PLC-controlled system was operating perfectly until a week ago. Since then, it has crashed four times — bringing production down. Your division vice president happened to read about last year's Stuxnet worm. When alerted to this crashing problem, the VP told you to install antivirus software on the PLC system. What should be your response, both to the VP and in the form of an action plan to find the cause of these crashes?

You can't just tell the VP to leave technical things to technical people, so handle this tactfully. You'll need to follow up on the VP's suggestion and report back with results. You could say, for example, your systems aren't Windows-based (if that's true), but you contacted the PLC manufacturer for advice.

You'll also need to perform the troubleshooting discussed in the Repairs tips of this issue. Before doing anything with the network, e-mail the IT department and the network administrator:

  • Summarize the facts as you know them. Ask if more information is needed.
  • Provide a summary of your action plan to address the physical equipment issues.
  • Ask for a 15-minute phone conference between IT, the network administrator, and yourself. Once there, discreetly discuss a response to the VP's instructions.