Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

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A whole family of terms denote the accessing of measuring devices, automated analysis, human understandable display and interactive control, and the control of actuators, such as: Industrial Automation and Control Systems, Industrial Control Systems (Système de contrôle industriel ou système de contrôle commande industriel.), Process Control Systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition SCADA (Système de supervision et d’acquisition de données.), and Distributed Control Systems. The Cyber Security aspects and Good Practices are discussed in [1]


European Definitions


Supervisory control and data acquisition is a system of remote control and telemetry used to monitor and control the electric system. [2]

Other International Definitions

International Society of Automation (ISA)

A generic name for a computerized system that is capable of gathering and processing data and applying operational controls over long distances. Typical uses include power transmission and distribution and pipeline systems. SCADA was designed for the unique communication challenges (delays, data integrity, etc.) posed by the various media that must be used, such as phone lines, microwave, and satellite. Usually shared rather than dedicated. [3]

National Definitions


New South Wales
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are used for remote monitoring and control in the delivery of critical services such as electricity, gas, water, waste and transportation. [4]


SCADA is het verzamelen, doorsturen, verwerken en visualiseren met meet- en regelsignalen van verschillende machines of toestellen in industriële procescontrolesystemen. [5]
SCADA consiste à collecter, transmettre, traiter et visualizer des signeaux de mesure et de regulation de different appareils ou machines dans des systèmes de contrôle de processus industriels. [6]

Czech Republic

Dispečerské řízení a sběr dat (SCADA): Počítačový systém pro dispečerské řízení a sběr údajů. Mohou to být průmyslové řídicí systémy, nebo počítačové systémy monitorování a řízení procesů. Procesy mohou být průmyslové (např. výroba elektrické energie, výroba a rafinace PHM), infrastrukturní (např. úprava a rozvod pitné vody, odvádění a čištění odpadních vod, ropovody a plynovody, civilní systémy protivzdušné obrany – sirény, a velké komunikační systémy) a zařízení (např. letiště, železniční stanice a uzly). [7]

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA): Computer system for the dispatcher control and data acquisition. It could be industrial control systems, or computer systems for monitoring and process control. The processes could be industrial ones (e.g. electrical energy generation, manufacture and purification of fuel), infrastructural (e.g. treatment and distribution of drinking water, taking away and purification of sewage, oil and gas pipes, civilian systems of antiaircraft defence – sirens, and large communication systems), and facilities (e.g. airports, railway stations and hubs). [7]


SCADA: Sistimi impiegatie per il monitoraggio ed il controllo di impianti e dispositivi in settori quali il controllo del traffico (aereo, ferroviaro, automobilistico), della gestione dei sistemi di transport dei fluidi, della distribuzione dellénergia electrica, della gestione delle line di produzione che realizzano I processi industriali, e del telerilevamento ambientale. [8]

SCADA: systems employed in the monitoring and control of plants and equipment in sectors such as traffic control (air, rail, automobile), the control of systems of fluids transportation (aqueducts, pipeline, etc.), of the distribution of the electrical energy, managing production lines that realise industrial processes and remote environmental detection surveys. [9]


מערכת בקרה תעשייתית, המטפלת בתהליכים רחבי היקף המתרחשים באתרים מרובים שלרב מצויים בפיזור גיאוגרפי גדול [10]


Industriële controlesystemen (ook Supervisory Control And Data Acqusition, SCADA genoemd) zijn meet- en regelsystemen, bijvoorbeeld voor de aansturing van industriële processen of gebouwbeheersystemen. ICS’en verzamelen en verwerken meet- en regelsignalen van sensoren in fysieke systemen en regelen de aansturing van de bijbehorende machines of apparaten. [11]

North Macedonia

Индустриски контролни системи - Информациски систем Индустриски контролни системи и во SCADA (надзорна контрола и собирање податоци) и групите за дистрибуирани контролни системи, кои се користат за индустриски операции, како што се производство, контролирање на производството и контрола на дистрибуцијата преку програмски логички контролери кои се различни од конвенционалните информатички технологии. [12] [13]


SCADA: Sistema de Supervisión, Control y Adquisición de Datos Automático, proveniente de las siglas de la terminología inglesa “Supervisory, Control and Data Adquisition”. [14]


SCADA / Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition Control Supervisor y Adquisición de Datos, nombre de los sistemas de control industrial. [15]

United States

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is a generic name for a computerized system that is capable of gathering and processing data and applying operational controls to geographically dispersed assets over long distances. [16]

SCADA is a system of remote control and telemetry used to monitor and control the transmission system. [17]

SCADA is a generic name for a computerized system that is capable of gathering and processing data and applying operational controls over long distances. [18]

SCADA systems are highly distributed systems used to control geographically dispersed assets, often scattered over thousands of square kilometers, where centralized data acquisition and control are critical to system operation. They are used in distribution systems such as water distribution and wastewater collection systems, oil and natural gas pipelines, electrical power grids, and railway transportation systems. A SCADA control center performs centralized monitoring and control for field sites over long-distance communications networks, including monitoring alarms and processing status data. Based on information received from remote stations, automated or operator-driven supervisory commands can be pushed to remote station control devices, which are often referred to as field devices. Field devices control local operations such as opening and closing valves and breakers, collecting data from sensor systems, and monitoring the local environment for alarm conditions [19].

SCADA systems consist of both hardware and software. Typical hardware includes an MTU placed at a control center, communications equipment (e.g., radio, telephone line, cable, or satellite), and one or more geographically distributed field sites consisting of either an RTU or a PLC, which controls actuators and/or monitors sensors. The MTU stores and processes the information from RTUinputs and outputs, while the RTU or PLC controls the local process. The communications hardware allows the transfer of information and data back and forth between the MTU and the RTUs or PLCs. The software is programmed to tell the system what and when to monitor, what parameter ranges are acceptable, and what response to initiate when parameters change outside acceptable values. [19]

SCADA systems are usually designed to be fault-tolerant systems with significant redundancy built into the system architecture. [19]

See also


Distributed Control System (DCS) refers to control achieved by intelligence that is distributed about the process to be controlled, rather than by a centrally located single unit. [20]


  1. Eric Luiijf and Bert Jan Te Paske, Cyber Security of Industrial Control Systems (2015).
  2. ENTSO-E Glossary
  3. The Automation, Systems, and Instrumentation Dictionary, 4th Edition, ISA, 2003
  4. NSW Critical Infrastructure Resilience Strategy Partner, Prepare, Provide (2018)
  5. Cyber Security (Dutch version)
  6. Cyber Security (French version)
  7. 7.0 7.1 [1]
  8. Presidency of the Council of Ministers, National strategic framework for cyberspace security, Rome, Italy (December 2013)
  9. Presidency of the Council of Ministers, National strategic framework for cyberspace security, Rome, Italy (December 2013)
  10. CERT.IL Glossary
  11. Cybersecuritybeeld Nederland 2016
  13. National Cyber Security Strategy of the Republic of Macedonia (2018)]
  16. DHS/NICSS Glossary
  17. Glossary of Terms Used in NERC Reliability Standards - Updated January 25, 2017
  18. NISTIR 7298 rev 2: Glossary of Key Information Security Terms, May 2013/SP 800-82
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 K. Stouffer, J. Falco, K. Kent, Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security, NIST Special Publication 800-82, June 2011
  20. NIST Special Publication 800-82 Rev 2: Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security (May 2015)