Implementing IEC 62351 in remote applications

IEC 62351 is an industrial standard for improving security in industrial systems, specifically in  power systems. Cybersecurity is always a game of cat and mouse. When a security vulnerability is fixed, another is always exposed. As security threats grow in the power and automation industry, standards like 62443 enable systems to be designed and prepared for potential threats.

The Merlin range of cellular routers are designed with cyber-security capabilities to help power utilities comply with IEC 62351. The security objectives include authentication of data transfer using digital signatures, ensuring only authenticated access, prevention of eavesdropping, prevention of playback and spoofing, and intrusion detection.

IEC 62351 contains requirements for ensuring end-to-end integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality of different protocols used in power systems. The protocol is broken down into several parts, each contributing to different sections of an industrial system.

  • Part 3 of IEC 62351 provides security for TCP/IP profiles and protects against eavesdropping via encryption, man-in-the-middle attacks, and spoofing

  • Part 4 provides security profiles for protocols such as MMS
  • Part 5 provides solutions for IEC 60870 101, 102, 103 & 104 as well as DNP3
  • Part 6 contains protocols for peer-to-peer communication for substations, one example being GOOSE
  • Part 7 focuses on Network and System Management (NSM) providing support for monitoring the device and the network
  • Part 8 enables role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Part 9 specifies how to generate, distribute, revoke, and handle digital certificates and cryptographic keys
  • Lastly, part 10 deals with the description of security architecture guidelines for power systems

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Carl de Bruin

International sales

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