SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and describes a computer system with which technical processes can be monitored and controlled in automated production. SCADA is located in the process control level of the automation pyramid or the OSI layer model. SCADA collects and processes measured data from the lower levels of automation pyramids (usually sensors, switch positions, etc.) and thus allows manual or automated control and optimization of the production processes according to the target parameters.
Communication takes place via point-to-point connections and field bus systems as well as - in the course of industry 4.0 - on the basis of TCP-based Internet technologies. Generally, proprietary protocols are prevailing, which are dependent on the manufacturers. However, the Modbus protocol also attempts to establish an open and universal form of communication that facilitates the further exchange of data with other systems. The trend towards data transmission using TCP-based techniques has also opened up automated production and made it vulnerable to cyber threats (see Industry 4.0 and its risks).