exida explains Blog

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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IEC 62443: Levels, Levels and More Levels

IEC 62443: Levels, Levels and More Levels

By now we’ve all become familiar with safety integrity levels (SIL), as they have become part of our everyday lives. However, with the recent release of several cybersecurity standards in the IEC 62443 series, things are getting more complicated. This series of standards introduces two more levels…

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How Does the IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Standard Apply to Integrators?

How Does the IEC 62443 Cybersecurity Standard Apply to Integrators?

The IEC 62443 series of cybersecurity standards include over ten documents covering various subjects. Buying a full set is a bit expensive, but for me the real cost is the time needed to read and understand them. So I often ask one of the experts at exida…

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Fake Fact: Diagnostics are useless

Fake Fact: Diagnostics are useless

The idea that diagnostics are useless contradicts everything I’ve ever learned and taught about diagnostics. 

Diagnostics help identify problems. Diagnostics can turn a fault that is unrevealed during normal operation into a detected fault, which allows me to take action. That action could be an automatic transition to the…

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Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 2)

Functional Safety Assessment of Valve Assemblies (Part 2)

In Part 1, I covered the emerging trends in the valve assembly market, how these trends relate to IEC 61511 requirements, and the anatomy of final elements.

Now let’s discuss why we need to show requirements traceability down through the design of the safety instrumented function and then…

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Do You Measure the Performance of Your SIS?

Do You Measure the Performance of Your SIS?

It always amazes me that when teaching our FSE 100 Functional Safety Engineering course, the number of times I find that end users in the class are not really measuring the performance of their SIS. In most cases, they are doing some measurements, but not thoroughly.

It…

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