New ISA/IEC standard specifies cybersecurity capabilities for control system components

Sep 26, 2018

The ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards, developed by the ISA99 committee as American National Standards and adopted globally by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), has published a new standard in the series, ISA/IEC 62443-4-2-2018, Security for Industrial Automation and Control Systems: Technical Security Requirements for IACS Components. This new standard provides the cybersecurity technical requirements for components that make up an IACS, specifically the embedded devices, network components, host components and software applications. The standard sets forth security capabilities that enable a component to mitigate threats for a given security level without the assistance of compensating countermeasures.

“The standard definition of the security capabilities for system components provides a common language for product suppliers and all other control system stakeholders,” said Kevin Staggs of Honeywell, who led the ISA99 development group for the standard. “This simplifies the procurement and integration processes for the computers, applications, network equipment and control devices that make up a control system.”

The new standard follows the February 2018 publication of ISA/IEC 62443-4-1, Product Security Development Life-Cycle Requirements, which specifies process requirements for the secure development of products used in an IACS and defines a secure development life-cycle for developing and maintaining secure products. The life-cycle includes security requirements definition, secure design, secure implementation (including coding guidelines), verification and validation, defect management, patch management and product end-of-life.