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Linking functional safety and IT security

19 May 2017

HIMA has made available a whitepaper – Functional Safety at Your Plant Requires IT Security – that explores the relationship between cyber security and plant safety.

The paper is free to download and is a useful tool to those seeking more information in the light of the dramatic increase in the number of such attacks.

The whitepaper is authored by Peter Sieber of HIMA, a member of IEC steering committees on both functional safety and IT security. It explores the assertion that the most robust solution for the targets for cyber-attacks – be that industrial facilities such as petrochemical plants or mining facilities or even the rail industry – is to separate the Safety Instrumented System from the Basic Process Control System.

The paper considers three main questions: Can the ‘insecurity’ of integrated control systems influence the functional safety of a plant? What needs to be protected? and Can the principles developed for functional safety be applied to issues surrounding cyber security?

Complete with operational examples and specific recommendations for improving security and safety at industrial facilities the paper is written for both readers from IT backgrounds and those familiar with processing, engineering and safety. As such it contains foundational information which most readers will find essential to ensure they are familiar with the terminology and core technical standards governing the area.

To download the whitepaper, please visit:

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