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July 9, 2018

ICS Network Detection Products: Selecting and evaluating the right solution for your ICS environment

Monitoring ICS networks for potential security incidents is an important element of any mature ICS cybersecurity program.  However, until recently, implementing intrusion or anomaly detection on ICS networks was not very practical because commercially available intrusion detection systems (IDS), designed for enterprise IT networks, were not capable of analyzing the unique protocols used in industrial […]

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Reverend Bayes, meet Process Safety. Use Bayes’ Theorem to establish site specific confidence in your LOPA calculation

Bayes’ Theorem is an epistemological statement of knowledge, versus a statement of proportions and relative frequencies. It is therefore a method that can bridge qualitative knowledge with the rare-event numbers that are intended to represent that knowledge.  Bayes’ Theorem is sorely missing from the toolbox of Process Safety practitioners. This paper will introduce Bayes’ Theorem to the reader and discuss the reasons and applications for using Bayes in Process Safety related to IPLs and LOPA. While intended to be introductory (to not discourage potential users), this paper will describe simple Excel™ based Bayesian calculations that the practitioner can begin to use immediately to address issues such as uncertainty, establishing confidence intervals, properly evaluating LOPA gaps, and incorporating site specific data, all related to IPLs and barriers used to meet LOPA targets.

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Breathing life into the alarm management lifecycle

‘Evergreen’ and ‘lifecycle’ have become two common buzz words in our industry. They are thrown around in a variety of topics, processes, and philosophies as descriptions of how management plans should be set up. But what does it really mean to have an evergreen process? How does one keep a lifecycle alive? This is especially relevant when it comes to topics such as alarm management, where it is commonly touted that once a plant rationalizes their entire system, they have completed alarm management. This paper will deconstruct the alarm management lifecycle and pinpoint key aspects that can be integrated into process safety management systems and work processes that already exist. Tying the alarm management lifecycle to what is already being done as part of process safety and good engineering practice will help to ensure it remains ‘evergreen’ and delivers the intended benefits.

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SIL ratings and certification for fire & gas system hardware; Is industry barking up the wrong tree

There are many devices (sensors, logic solvers and final elements) used in safety instrumented systems that are independently certified for use in safety applications to different safety integrity levels (SIL). There is considerable debate however whether fire and gas system hardware should have SIL ratings at all. Vendors are naturally interested in promoting independently certified hardware in order to differentiate their products. Considering the differences between safety instrumented systems and fire and gas systems, focusing on the SIL rating or performance of the actual fire and gas hardware alone is considered by some to be a misleading and questionable practice. This paper reviews a) the differences between safety instrumented systems and fire and gas systems, b) how typical voting of fire and gas sensors not only reduces nuisance trips (which is desirable) but also reduces the likelihood of the system actually responding to a true demand (which is not desirable), and c) why concepts and standards that apply to safety instrumented systems (e.g., SIL ratings) may not be appropriate for fire and gas systems.

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Addressing Common Process Control Network (PCN) Misconfigurations Will Increase Availability, Security and Safety

The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness around common OSI Layer 2 networking misconfigurations found in Industrial Process Control Networks. These misconfigurations often introduce significant security vulnerabilities and negatively impact ICS availability. We’ll discuss the commonly found misconfigurations and demonstrate how they impact ICS security and availability, and present a case study from an oil & gas refinery that suffered widespread PCN outages as a result of these misconfigurations when attempting to upgrade two existing PCN switches.

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Development and features of the aeSolutions FM approved FGS1400 MKII

The FGS 1400 MK II combines the required functionality into the latest generation of TÜV-certified safety PLC.  By using the same hardware / software platform as the Siemens Simatic PCS7 series, the FGS 1400 MK II can be integrated into the entire plant system solution. It offers the advantages of common HMIs, spare parts, training, engineering / configuration tools, maintenance, and procedures to produce a dramatic saving in both installed cost as well as lifecycle costs.

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