exida explains Blog

Personnel Certification Concerns? We are Here to Help.
  • by Ted Stewart, CFSP, exidaCSP
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019
  • Certification

Personnel Certification Concerns? We are Here to Help.

A few weeks ago, we were asked to help a fellow colleague who received a message regarding their FS Engineer (TÜV Rheinland) certificate :

We are aware, that the validity of your FS Expert (TÜV Rheinland) certificate is expiring this month. Kindly be informed that we have had a…

Read More...

Are Your Control Systems Really Protected?

Are Your Control Systems Really Protected?

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed recently, but the number of cybersecurity alerts issued by CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) seems to be increasing at an alarming rate.  The latest alert I’ve seen now relates to GPS tracking systems for children.  A device which is supposed to keep…

Read More...

Back to Basics 14 - Systematic Capability

Back to Basics 14 - Systematic Capability

Systematic Capability is achieved when the equipment used to implement any safety function is designed using procedures intended to prevent systematic design errors.  The rigor of the required procedure is a function of a Safety Integrity Level (SIL). This is evaluated through an assessment of the quality management system…

Read More...

Let’s Talk About Configuration Management and ISO 26262

Let’s Talk About Configuration Management and ISO 26262

Most software developers are familiar with the need for and benefits of change control. Usually change control means one thing to a software developer and that is 'commits' to a source code revision control system. Not only do small and regular commits provide significant advantages to large teams of…

Read More...

Do You Really Know What You Know (When it Comes to Functional Safety)?

Do You Really Know What You Know (When it Comes to Functional Safety)?

You don’t’ really know what you know until you have to explain it (or teach it) to someone else. 

When I’m asked about some of the technical aspects of functional safety, I have to stop and ask myself “What Do I Know About This?”  I’m not the kind…

Read More...

Back to Basics 13 - How Do I Start IEC 61508 Certification?

Back to Basics 13 - How Do I Start IEC 61508 Certification?

Do you want to know more about IEC 61508 certification, but you’re not sure if you are ready to jump in? Don’t worry, we will make this process as painless as possible.

Here is what to expect:

  1. Introduce Scope
  2. Kickoff Meeting
  3. Perform FMEDA on Product
  4. Creation of…

    Read More...

Building Cybersecurity into Software Applications

Building Cybersecurity into Software Applications

An April 2019 report from the Institute of Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) makes the point that even though software ‘runs the world’, software security is an afterthought across virtually all industries. 

The report states that this lack of software security is actually a National Threat given that this…

Read More...

Back to Basics 12 –  What is IEC 61508 Certification?

Back to Basics 12 –  What is IEC 61508 Certification?

IEC 61508 Certification is a Third-Party Validation against the standard’s requirements, comprising of:

  • Detailed Analysis of engineering processes to determine Systematic Capability and Cybersecurity Strength 
  • Detailed Analysis of hardware design / design margins resulting in Random Failure Rate in all failure modes
  • Analysis/Testing to show safe, correct operation and Cybersecurity Susceptibility

To achieve an…

Read More...

When is an Alarm not an Alarm?

When is an Alarm not an Alarm?

The ISA-18.2 and IEC 62682 standards define an alarm as an “audible and/or visible means of indicating to the operator an equipment malfunction, process deviation, or abnormal condition requiring a timely response”.  One of the reasons why alarm systems are out of control (alarm overload, nuisance alarms)…

Read More...

Back to Basics 11 – How is SIL Used by an End User?

Back to Basics 11 – How is SIL Used by an End User?

IEC62443 - Learning Cybersecurity (Prevention Techniques)

IEC62443 - Learning Cybersecurity (Prevention Techniques)

Last Saturday, I read an article about hackers who were behind at least two potentially fatal intrusions on oil and gas industrial facilities (Yes I read cyber articles on the weekend wink). Besides the fact that I enjoy learning about cybersecurity on my…

Read More...

Back to Basics 10 – How Does a Product Get a SIL?

Back to Basics 10 – How Does a Product Get a SIL?

IEC 61508 functional safety standard indicates Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) needs to be evaluated by three design barriers:

  • The Systematic Capability Rating
  • The Architectural Constraints for the Element
  • The Probability of Failure for the Product

What Makes a SIL?

Systematic Capability is achieved when the equipment…

Read More...

SCRUM and IEC 62443

SCRUM and IEC 62443

Information Technology (IT) is the personnel, hardware, and software that controls non-physical devices and/or processes such as websites, financial data, personal information, etc. 

Operation Technology (OT) is the personnel, hardware, and software that controls physical devices and/or processes such as manufacturing, oil & gas, power, etc.  Today, OT has many…

Read More...

Back to Basics 09 – Safety Lifecycle – IEC 61511

Back to Basics 09 – Safety Lifecycle – IEC 61511

The IEC 61511 standard recommends the use of a functional safety lifecycle. Any safety lifecycle can be used, but the standard lays out a process which can be divided into three main classifications as an example. 

The lifecycle is set up like this: 

  1. Analyze the situation and document…

    Read More...

Duty of Care (Too Good to Be True Failure Rate Data)

Duty of Care (Too Good to Be True Failure Rate Data)

I have received several calls lately to our Australia / New Zealand office about whether it is acceptable to use published failure rates that seem too good to be true.

The person calling is usually doing a SIL verification calculation for an operating plant or for an…

Read More...