How Secure Is Your Control System?

June 6, 2006
If you've been following the discussions at PCSF (the Process Control Systems Forum) and in the ISA SP99 Standards Committee, you know the answer. If the answer doesn't scare you, you are seriously asleep. So, instead of attending the Sensors Show this week, and attending the SP100 meeting at the Sensors show, I decided to attend the security forum instead. Glad I did. The actual meeting starts this morning, but there was a very important session yes...
If you've been following the discussions at PCSF (the Process Control Systems Forum) and in the ISA SP99 Standards Committee, you know the answer. If the answer doesn't scare you, you are seriously asleep. So, instead of attending the Sensors Show this week, and attending the SP100 meeting at the Sensors show, I decided to attend the security forum instead. Glad I did. The actual meeting starts this morning, but there was a very important session yesterday, led by Eric Byres, formerly of BCIT, now with Wurldtech Analytics (a way to continue working with the BCIT lab Eric founded, yet maintain an "arms length" relationship with BCIT). There were representatives from at least 10 major end user companies, and all of the major automation vendors. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a proposal from ExxonMobil to create a "Consortium for Industrial Security Research and Compliance." This "consortium" is not expected to produce standards...it is expected to develop significant best practices and benchmarks in the absence of standards, and turn them over to the existing standards bodies for use in assisting standards development. Discussion pointed to TUV, the Fieldbus Foundation, PTO and the HART Communication Foundation as examples of such a consortium. The consortium would act like these agencies in that it would produce testing and compliance documents, protocols, and perform actual testing on control system components and systems, first from developed benchmarks and best practices, and later from developed standards. This appears to me to be a no-brainer "we gotta do this" exercise. How it is organized, who leads it, all need to be figured out. Keep your eyes tuned to this space for more information in the next week or so.

Sponsored Recommendations

Measurement instrumentation for improving hydrogen storage and transport

Hydrogen provides a decarbonization opportunity. Learn more about maximizing the potential of hydrogen.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...

Learn About: Micro Motion™ 4700 Config I/O Coriolis Transmitter

An Advanced Transmitter that Expands Connectivity

Learn about: Micro Motion G-Series Coriolis Flow and Density Meters

The Micro Motion G-Series is designed to help you access the benefits of Coriolis technology even when available space is limited.