New, simplified guidance for endpoint cybersecurity

Apr 19, 2018

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) published “Endpoint Security Best Practices,” a concise white paper designed to help equipment manufacturers, critical infrastructure operators, integrators and others to implement the countermeasures and controls they need to ensure the safety, security and reliability of Internet of Things (IoT) endpoint devices. Endpoints include edge devices such as sensors, actuators, pumps, flow meters, controllers and drives in industrial systems, embedded medical devices, and vehicle controls systems as well as communications infrastructure and gateways.

“The number of attacks on industrial endpoints has grown rapidly in the last few years and has severe effects. Unreliable equipment can cause safety problems, customer dissatisfaction, liability and reduced profits,” says Steve Hanna, IIC white paper co-author, and senior principal, Infineon Technologies. “This white paper moves beyond general guidelines, providing specific recommendations by security level. Thus, equipment manufacturers, owners, operators and integrators are educated on how to apply existing best practices to achieve the needed security levels for their endpoints.”

The paper explores one of the six functional building blocks from the IIC’s “Industrial Internet Security Framework (IISF): Endpoint Protection.” The 13-page white paper distills key information about endpoint device security from industrial guidance and compliance frameworks, such as IEC 62443, NIST SP 800-53 and the IIC IISF.

Equipment manufacturers, industrial operators and integrators can use the Endpoint Security Best Practices document to understand how countermeasures or controls can be applied to achieve a particular security level (basic, enhanced, or critical) when building or upgrading industrial IoT endpoint systems, which they can determine through risk modeling and threat analysis.

“By describing best practices for implementing industrial security that are appropriate for agreed-upon security levels, we’re empowering industrial ecosystem participants to define and request the security they need,” says Dean Weber, IIC white paper co-author, and CTO, Mocana. “Integrators can build systems that meet customer security needs and equipment manufacturers can build products that provide necessary security features efficiently.”

While the white paper is primarily targeted at improving the security of new endpoints, the concepts can be used with legacy endpoints by employing gateways, network security, and security monitoring.
The full Endpoint Security Best Practices white paper can be found on the IIC website, www.iiconsortium.org

 

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