Why Is IEC 62443 Important?
Cybersecurity is crucial in our digital world—especially in industrial environments, where a cyber breach can have catastrophic consequences. To address these concerns, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) introduced the IEC-62443 standard, a series of guidelines and best practices for the security of industrial automation and control systems (IACS).
Compliance with IEC 62443 security standards, while not required, is strongly recommended for any organization implementing digital technologies in an industrial context. Following IEC 62443 can help asset owners keep their IACS secure and resilient against cyberthreats, which is crucial for maintaining the safety and reliability of critical infrastructure as well as ensuring operational continuity.
IEC 62443 and Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0, which focuses on the integration of digital technologies into manufacturing and other industries, prioritizes cybersecurity because connected devices and systems are vulnerable to data breaches and other cyberattacks. IEC 62443 provides a framework for addressing these concerns in the context of IACS. The standards cover risk assessment, security policies and procedures, network security, system design and implementation, and security monitoring and maintenance, and more.
The Role of IEC 62443 in Industrial Cybersecurity
In the context of industrial cybersecurity and IEC 62443, an asset owner is an individual, organization, or entity that owns, operates, or controls an IACS or any IACS components. The IACS could be a process control system, a building automation system, or any other system used to control industrial processes or infrastructure.
Asset owners are responsible for ensuring the security and availability of their IACS. This includes identifying and assessing cybersecurity risks, implementing appropriate security controls and countermeasures, and ensuring that the system is maintained in a secure state over its entire life cycle. Asset owners are also responsible for complying with any relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards related to industrial cybersecurity.
Asset owners are among the key stakeholders in the industrial cybersecurity ecosystem, alongside system integrators, suppliers, service providers, and regulatory bodies. Effective collaboration among these stakeholders is essential for ensuring the security and resilience of IACS.