exida explains Blog

Bad Actor Knockdown: The “Whac-A-Mole” of Alarm Management?

Bad Actor Knockdown: The “Whac-A-Mole” of Alarm Management?

Does Your Burner Management System Meet Your Tolerable Risk?

Does Your Burner Management System Meet Your Tolerable Risk?

My previous blog mentioned the fact that a Burner Management System (BMS) is unique, in that this instrumented layer is the last line of defense and may be the only protection layer in the case of a BPCS failure.

Have you ever performed an analysis to determine…

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Managing Unconfirmed Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities like Supermicro

Managing Unconfirmed Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities like Supermicro

Unconfirmed vulnerabilities are not usually a big issue, but when one occurs like Supermicro, plant management will ask a simple question: “Do we have an issue or not?” 

Having been on the receiving end of this blunt exchange, I realize it can be painful and embarrassing to communicate,…

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Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment of Collaborative Robotic Systems

Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment of Collaborative Robotic Systems

The world of collaborative robots, or cobots, is making headway. According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robots (IFR), along with Loup Ventures, global robotics spending will reach $13 billion in 2025. Currently, collaborative robots only make up about 3% of all robot sales. This number…

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The New Technology in Logic Solvers
  • by Dr. William Goble, CFSE
  • Thursday, September 27, 2018
  • Certification

The New Technology in Logic Solvers

I heard about a “safety certified” PLC in the late 1980s at an ISA SP84 standard committee meeting. The “logic solver” (as they later called it) was the focus of attention in the field of functional safety back then. Many engineers even said, “My system is safe because I…

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Cyber Risk Assessments and Security Level Verification: High-Level Risk Assessments (Part 1 of 3)

Cyber Risk Assessments and Security Level Verification: High-Level Risk Assessments (Part 1 of 3)

As the number, scale, and connectivity of industrial automation systems continues to grow, it becomes increasingly crucial to fundamentally understand, evaluate, and manage cybersecurity risks. The objective of an effective cybersecurity management program should be to maintain the industrial automation system consistent with corporate risk criteria. 

Ownership for industrial…

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Is It Possible to Extend Proof Test Intervals?

Is It Possible to Extend Proof Test Intervals?

I am often asked whether extending proof test intervals will be a problem. 

This is a tricky question. The design and engineering SIL calculations for the Safety Instrumented Functions (SIFs) are taking credit for a specific proof test interval with a defined level of coverage, as defined within the…

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Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 3)

Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 3)

In Part 1, we covered the emerging trends in the valve assembly market, how these trends relate to IEC 61511 requirements, and the anatomy of final elements. In Part 2, we discussed the need to show requirements traceability down through the design of the safety instrumented function…

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How Much Cybersecurity Do I Need?

How Much Cybersecurity Do I Need?

During an IACS cybersecurity risk analysis, each zone of a network is given a target security level. The levels are one to four, with one being the least amount of protection and four giving the most protection. For each zone we ask, “How much cybersecurity protection do we…

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Managing Risk: How Cybersecurity Differs for Facility Managers

Managing Risk: How Cybersecurity Differs for Facility Managers

Operations and facility managers have a level of responsibility that requires a great deal of judgment, technical understanding, and the ability to make the right call when managing risk. 

Safe, secure, and profitable plant operations are the cornerstones of how a plant manager is judged. The plant manager relies…

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An Integrator’s Guide to Managing the Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Access

An Integrator’s Guide to Managing the Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Access

Last week I attended the ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference was attended by equipment manufacturers and municipalities, but system integrators composed the largest group. The technical sessions mainly discussed new opportunities for implementing the industrial internet of things (IoT) and cybersecurity…

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Alarm Shelving - Relieve the Symptoms of Nuisance Alarms and Create a Peaceful Control Room

Alarm Shelving - Relieve the Symptoms of Nuisance Alarms and Create a Peaceful Control Room

In an ideal world, every alarm in a process control system would indicate a malfunction or abnormal condition that required operator action. In the real world, alarms that are irrelevant or annunciate excessively—otherwise known as nuisance alarms—can pop up occasionally to quite frequently. They pose a risk to the…

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Do you know your Site Safety Index?
  • by John Yozallinas, CFSE
  • Thursday, August 02, 2018
  • Certification

Do you know your Site Safety Index?

There’s a lot that exida does behind the scenes to advance the industry and benefit you. We try to make sense of data that we collect and put it to good use. One thing we found is that human activities play a role in functional safety, often causing the intended safety performance…

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IEC 62443 : The Road to More Secure Products

IEC 62443 : The Road to More Secure Products

As the incidence of cybersecurity threats in automation systems continue to rise, the automation world continues to grapple with how to address these issues.  There are many good practices published in the IEC 62443 series of standards available to end users such as creating demilitarized zones between the business…

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Burner Management Systems (BMS) and IEC 61511

Burner Management Systems (BMS) and IEC 61511

Prescriptive BMS standards contain a wealth of knowledge on combustion hazards, unit sequence of operation, and the equipment configuration required for combustion safeguards and combustion control. This experience cannot be overlooked; there is just not a Safety Lifecycle to tie in the Functional Safety Management of the BMS.

That…

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