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PLCopen tackles cyber-security and safety

08 May, 2007

PLCopen, the independent global association dedicated to developing open, standardised control systems, has launched two new initiatives: one to develop tools to ensure that control systems are protected against hacking and other forms of cyber-interference; the other to integrate safety with motion and logic control systems.

A new Security working group will define a test-bed and a set of routines to perform these tests, and make them publicly available to check the networking security of a wide range of control systems. PLCopen says that it doesnít intend to create new tools, but to use existing tools that are not usually applied to industrial controls. The organisation points out that with increasing numbers of controllers being fitted with Ethernet ports and providing Web access, security issues are becoming more critical in the controls market.

The second new activity is designed to make it easier for users to integrate safety in motion and logic applications. PLCopen describes this as "a daunting task" because it will probably entail breaking down production lines into several machine functions.

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