Cyber security: ABB controller gets certified

ABB’s System 800xA Extended Automation AC 800M controller has received Achilles Controller Level 1 cyber security certification from Wurldtech Security Technologies, a provider of security products and services for industrial automation.


ABB ’s System 800xA Extended Automation AC 800M controller has received Achilles Controller Level 1 cyber security certification from

Wurldtech Security Technologies

, a provider of security products and services for industrial automation.

The Achilles testing process is rigorous. The AC800M controller passed each of more than 30 million individual tests required to achieve the certification. According to Wurldtech, the majority of controllers submitted have failed Level 1 Certification testing, and a substantial number have not passed on retest.

ABB’s director of systems marketing, Alicia Bauer, explained, “Cyber security is one of the most challenging issues that today’s automation customers must consider when evaluating their control system strategies; the Achilles certification program assures these customers that their automation system has the quality, reliability, and robustness needed to resist a potential cyber incident. We have pursued Achilles certification for the AC 800M controller as part of our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with trusted, high-integrity solutions that help them operate more safely, securely, and productively.”

Over the past decade, critical equipment used in the control of power generation and distribution, oil production, transportation, manufacturing, and other key processes has become interconnected through use of technologies such as Ethernet, TCP/IP and Web services. This has brought benefits from improved information flow and efficiency, but it also exposes the systems to the possibility of attack from viruses, hackers, and terrorists. Therefore, the industrial controls industry is experiencing pressure from government and industry to meet increasing regulatory and security compliance requirements.

Wurldtech and its partners developed the Achilles Certification Program, introduced earlier this year, to provide a benchmark for the certification of secure industrial controllers. The certification process presents device manufacturers with an independently verified result from which to communicate their product security to customers, while providing operators of control systems accurate information on the security of deployed products. Achilles Level 1 Certification verifies the security, reliability, and robustness of a device's implementation of OSI layers 2 through 4, including Ethernet, ARP, IP, ICMP, TCP and UDP.

System 800xA extends the scope of traditional control systems to include all automation functions in a single operation and engineering environment so that plants can run more efficiently at substantial cost savings. Its reach extends to production management, safety, smart instrumentation, smart drives and motor control, information management, asset optimization, simulation, and documentation. System 800xA’s engineering environment manages one set of consistent data, for single-point entry, single-point change, and re-use across the plant.

Control Engineering magazine selected System 800xA Extended Automation to receive an Editors’ Choice Award as one of the best products introduced in 2004.

Also see: Product Research article from Control Engineering , “

HMI Software: Steady Growth Ahead


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