Building More Defendable Control and Safety Systems

by | Oct 27, 2020 | Capital Projects, Control & Safety Systems, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, Safety | 0 comments

A plant’s basic process control system (BPCS) and safety instrumented system (SIS) are critical infrastructure for the facility. Many decisions go into selecting these systems, and one of the most important is selecting the right architecture—a decision that will impact other elements of system selection as well as performance and efficiency across the lifecycle of the equipment.

One key decision that will impact automation system architecture is the ability to secure and defend the systems from cyber threats. Emerson’s new eBook, Building Defendable Cybersecurity for Safety Systems, examines the three main architectures for BPCS and SIS and considers the pros and cons of each.

Understanding the guidelines

International Society of Automation (ISA) and User Association of Automation Technology in Process Industries (NAMUR) guidelines require that safety critical assets be logically or physically separated from non-safety-critical assets. Separate, interfaced, and integrated architectures all meet this requirement, but vary in suitability. After all,

each architecture can be hardened and, to some degree, can fit the unique organizational requirements based on cybersecurity policies, risk assessments, and knowledgeable personnel. Because no facility has unlimited resources, teams need to choose an architecture keeping in mind how much work will be required in building and maintaining it.

Separated systems and interfaced systems require plants to maintain two systems, which increases overhead. A number of factors go into deciding how much work will be required to build and maintain your control and safety system: the number and experience of your personnel, the way the system is used in the plant, and how long you anticipate operating the system. It is also important to consider the following:

  • Integrated systems help organizations reduce project and engineering costs.
  • Advanced systems—like the DeltaV™ integrated control and safety system— provide many security features out-of-the-box.

You can learn more about how integrated systems provide an architecture that securely delivers easier engineering, safety, and operations by checking out the guide. Additionally, please use the comment section below to share your strategies and successes for better securing your safety and control systems.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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