You can't be everywhere at once—especially when it comes to managing widely scattered process units—but you can get close. But while a good remote support solution can provide access and interaction almost anywhere, the crucial trick is doing it securely, according to Arnold "Marty" Martin, control system manager at Air Liquide in Houston, which oversees hundreds of the firm's air-separation and other U.S. production plants.

"We were running into problems with aging assets, and needed to upgrade, but the remote support solution we were using wasn't migrating well," said Martin. "Besides having a lot of equipment that was reaching end of life, we also didn't have enough expertise and people. We needed to manage access to control systems on the industrial network to provide maximum security without impacting ease of access for people who need to use them; develop robust, multilayered access protocols that meet the needs of internal and external users; and incorporate strengths of the business IT world to improve how users access the industrial network environment. So, we pursued a privileged (remote) access management (PAM) solution." Read more.