Extending the secure edge in industrial control systems: Page 3 of 4

March 14, 2019 //By Erik Halthen
Extending the secure edge in industrial control systems
Cyber security in industrial control systems (ICS) is poised to delay the adoption of Industry 4.0. Many business leaders find it hard to understand ICS cyber security challenges as there are many factors contributing to their complexity.

IEC 62443 is currently absent any guidelines for implementing security below the PLC and an ISA99 working group has recently been established to address cyber security at the bottom layers of the factory within the IEC 62443 framework.

Today, to meet an acceptable security posture of a system, countermeasures must be applied to devices that do not reach a sufficient level of security. These countermeasures typically rely on methods such as firewalls to limit access and section off or isolate vulnerable devices. In the future, devices will need to reach higher security levels to enable the transition to Industry 4.0.

Analog Devices is in a unique position to extend the secure edge. Our traditional market space is at the physical edge, where the real world is translated into digital signals and data is born. This gives us the opportunity to establish trust in data by providing identity and integrity much earlier in the signal chain and establish a new definition of the secure edge. Traditionally, the secure edge has originated at gateways, PLCs, or even servers in the industrial control systems security framework. This view is reminiscent of the traditional IT cyber security view of the factory but it persists throughout the industry. The prospect of driving the secure edge lower in the signal chain is enticing because it enables higher confidence in the decisions that are being made from that data.

The earlier identity and integrity can be established in the signal chain, the more trust and confidence can be placed in the data that is driving decisions.

ICS cyber security cannot be addressed by a one size fits all solution and an in-depth defense approach must be adopted and applied based on the risk assessment of the system. Analog Devices has a strategy to extend the depth of ICS cyber security as Ethernet is adopted at the edge.


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