Cyber-security: Safety platform achieves Level 1 certification

Tricon version 10.3 software from the Triconex unit of Invensys Process Systems has achieved Achilles Controller Level 1 cyber-security certification.


Irvine, CA— Tricon version 10.3 software from the Triconex unit of Invensys Process Systems has achieved Achilles Controller Level 1 cyber-security certification. The Achilles certification testing methodology used by Wurldtech Labs involves the industry's most stringent network testing, with more that 30 million individual tests performed on each controller submitted.Wurldtech Labs is an independent division of Vancouver, BC-based Wurldtech Security Technologies .

"The Achilles Certification Program is an industry recognized benchmark for validating the security of industrial controllers," said Tyler Williams, CEO of Wurldtech. "Achieving this certification is a compelling endorsement for the quality and robustness of the Tricon controller."

"Triconex has a proven track record in delivering safety solutions that combine high reliability and availability with excellent integration with DCS systems -- without compromising either safety or security," said Luis Duran, Triconex Brand Director at Invensys Process Systems."Triconex systems have established the industry benchmark relative to international functional safety certifications.The achievement of Achilles certification for our Tricon system platform demonstrates our leadership in cyber-security, as well."

The process control industry is moving from using proprietary communications to using open standards and protocols such as Ethernet, TCP/IP, and OPC to integrate Safety Integrated Systems (SIS) with Distributed Control Systems (DCS).Thus, it is becoming increasingly important that the safety system is fully protected from external hostile intrusions that could place personnel at risk and/or cause incalculable damage to industrial assets.To this end, Triconex recently introduced a new Tricon Communications Module (TCM) with embedded OPC server.The TCM, which was used to communicate to the Tricon controller during the Achilles testing, is specifically designed to facilitate a secure information flow from the Tricon safety system to distributed control systems using standard protocols.

In March 2007, Wurldtech Labs conducted a series of tests using the Achilles Assurance Platform [] at Triconex headquarters in Irvine, California.The tests were extensive and thorough - aimed at assessing capabilities, identifying vulnerabilities, and measuring the robustness of the Tricon platform.The Achilles Controller Certification Level 1 test is designed to cover protocol implementations at the OSI layers 2 to 4.The Level 1 test was conducted to determine the robustness of the Tricon system against cyber attacks at the Ethernet, TCP/IP and UDP level protocols.In addition to assessing the robustness of the Tricon system against cyber attacks, the performance of the Tricon Safety System executing an application program was also monitored during the tests.

At the conclusion of the tests, Wurldtech Securities indicated that the Tricon Safety System platform passed the Achilles Level 1 assessment test.It was also noted that the performance of the Tricon Safety System was never affected during the certification tests.Despite the rigors of the Achilles certification testing designed to identify software flaws that lead to exploitable security vulnerabilities in OSI layers 2 to 4, the Tricon continued to execute its control logic and perform properly in all respects.

— Control Engineering Daily News Desk, C.G. Masi , senior editor
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