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UL Testing and Certification for Industrial Supply Chain Cybersecurity

Testing and certification to the IEC 62443 standard can bolster cybersecurity for digital industrial supply chains.

Man holding mobile device with inside factory

February 2, 2022

Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications magnify complexity in the industrial automated control systems (IACS) that support Industry 4.0. New and evolving vulnerabilities, risks and threat vectors continue to challenge IT and operations technology (OT) security. Every player in the supply chain is affected, in all industries.

In a climate where cyberattacks will only become more sophisticated and pervasive, a global, consistent set of standards like IEC 62443 will prove vital. Laying a foundation of cybersecurity robustness throughout industrial supply chains, IEC 62443 offers a systemic, practical approach that companies can use to secure IACS, from risk assessment to operations. It helps ensure that cybersecurity is embedded throughout the entire product life cycle, from design to development to use in the field. What’s more, testing and certification to IEC 62443 helps mitigate risks in industrial communication networks by defining procedures for implementing secure factories and systems across industries.

Security Bedrock for Manufacturers, Integrators and System Users
IEC 62443 was developed with manufacturers, industrial control system (ICS) integrators and system end users in mind. The family of standards is organized into four categories:

1. General standards provide an overview of industrial security, including key concepts and models (IEC TS 62443-1-1), terms (IEC TR 62443-1-2), system security conformance metrics (IEC 62443-1-3) and IACS security lifecycle and use cases (IEC TR 62443-1-4).

2. Policies and procedures cover security program requirements for IACS asset owners (IEC 62443-2-1) and service providers (IEC 62443-2-4), IACS protection levels (IEC 62443-2-2), patch management in IACS environments (IEC TR 62443-2-3) and implementation guidance for IACS asset owners (IEC TR 62443-2-5).

3. System standards provide guidance on designing and implementing secure IACS, including security technologies (IEC TR 62443-3-1), security risk assessment and system design (IEC 62443-3-2) and system security requirements and security levels (IEC 62443-3-3).

4. Component standards describe the secure product development life cycle (IEC 62443-4-1) and technical security requirements for IACS components (IEC 62443-4-2). IEC 62443-4-1 directly applies to software development.

Among other benefits, compliance with IEC 62443 helps component and product manufacturers:

  • Embed security into their development processes
  • Determine the appropriate level of security for specific products and systems
  • Manage security risks
  • Navigate cybersecurity in factory automation and process controls

IEC 62443 compliance helps ICS integrators and system users:

  • Mitigate liability risk and uphold manufacturers to required security levels
  • Minimize the risk of integrating IoT and OT infrastructure
  • Ensure purchase of secure systems and products
  • Integrate with insecure systems

IEC 62443 as a competitive advantage
For manufacturers, ICS integrators and system users alike, the ability to prove to customers that your component, product or system meets required security levels proves essential. Such validation not only helps protect your brand, but also enhances your competitive advantage. Strong cybersecurity can be a differentiating asset, moving security from being a cost factor to a business advantage. Read more about the cybersecurity advantage in our white paper.

Indeed, the value of IEC 62443 compliance and certification reaches far beyond the factory floor, helping to satisfy customers’ demands and validate the integrity of cybersecurity throughout the supply chain.