The continuing lack of understanding of Level 0,1 device security and safety

February 13-15, 2018 I participated in the 2018 ARC Industry Forum – Digitizing and Securing Industry, Infrastructure, and Cities. There was a separate cyber security track Monday and Tuesday-Thursday were embedded cyber security presentations. With the exception of our session on Thursday, all of the cyber sessions were network-focused. Many of the security practitioners continue with the mantra: “you can’t be safe if you are not secure”. However, since none of the Purdue Reference Model Level 0,1 devices (process sensors, actuators, and drives) have any security, that would mean there is no safety!  Consequently, Dave Bennett and I spoke about the cyber security considerations of Level 0,1 devices. The question most people ask is if process sensors, actuators, and drives can actually be remotely compromised. The answer is yes.  Dave gave a great presentation illustrating the process risk from compromising Level 0,1 devices. Dave outlined a method to separate ICS cyber security safety risk from cyber security economic risk. This has to be done at Level 0,1. This gives management the ability to make better business decisions. Additionally, there were discussions about the latest safety standards requiring ICS cyber security risk assessments, yet there are no explicit Level 0,1 considerations in the standards. Cyber security of Level 0,1 devices requires much more attention - and soon.

Joe Weiss

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  • Mr. Weiss, will your or Dave's presentations be available on the web? I'd like to understand your discussions of the architectural implications of cybersecurity on the Level 0,1 devices. Thanks, John.

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