exida explains Blog

Are You Undertaking Periodic Personnel Performance Assessments?

Are You Undertaking Periodic Personnel Performance Assessments?

One of the changes that was made in 2016 to the IEC 61511 standard was the inclusion of periodic personnel assessments (clause 5.2.2.3), whereby a procedure is required to manage the competence of all those involved in the SIS lifecycle; “periodic” assessments are to be carried out to document…

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Preventing Cyberattacks by Following Practical Guidance in IEC 62443

Preventing Cyberattacks by Following Practical Guidance in IEC 62443

Isn’t it frustrating when you experience an event that disrupts operations and then discover it could have been prevented? Very often a detailed analysis will reveal that a combination of (preventable) mistakes and unknown factors caused the incident. Training can help the mistakes, but dealing with the unknowns is a little…

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IACS Cybersecurity IEC 62443: Agile Lifecycle and Documentation

IACS Cybersecurity IEC 62443: Agile Lifecycle and Documentation

Industrial Automation Control Systems (IACS) Cybersecurity based on IEC 62443 was created to be compatible with agile development methodology. The standard deliberately talks about processes and not phases, such as those in the waterfall model. The processes defined can be met simultaneously and are, most likely, already being followed…

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Using SILSafeData to Check Your Failure Data Source
  • by Dr. William Goble, CFSE
  • Monday, October 29, 2018
  • Certification

Using SILSafeData to Check Your Failure Data Source

www.SILSafeData.com is a complimentary resource that contains the upper and lower bounds failure rates for many categories of automation equipment, as well as the methodology used by exida to derive the numbers.  

Many of you have asked how to…

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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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