Tuesday 6 October 2009


Combined certification for functional safety, security and availability
Functional Integrity Certification™ Benefits Automation Vendors and Customers

exida claims to be the first company to offer a holistic evaluation of the most important attributes of an automation product – functional safety, functional security and availability.

Introduced today at ISA Expo 2009 in Houston, exida’s Functional Integrity Certification™ is the only independent, third party assessment that examines functional safety, security and availability attributes of an automation product through assessment of its design, testing and manufacturing. The program also scrutinizes how a product performs under stress, in the field and over time.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” says Dr. William Goble, exida principal partner. “Functional Integrity Certification helps automation suppliers demonstrate the safety, security and reliability of their products. This also saves engineering time and money through a streamlined, single source assessment process. In turn, prospective buyers are provided with objective information to help guide their purchasing decisions.”

“This program follows our open assessment policy,” says Rainer Faller, exida principal partner and CEO of exida GmbH. “Technical assessment reports are openly available on the exida web site.”

For functional safety, a product and its development process are evaluated per the international standard IEC 61508 to determine its Safety Integrity Level (SIL). The SIL level is a measure of the probability that a product will perform its intended protection function when needed.

Functional security assesses a product’s resiliency to intentional or accidental manipulation that could cause it to behave differently than was intended. A combination of network robustness testing, security feature assessment and software development process assessment helps detect and avoid vulnerabilities and systematic design faults. The certification is based on the ISA Security Compliance Institute (ISCI) Embedded Controller Security Assurance (ECSA) test specification.

Finally, an availability assessment ensures the dependability of automation products in critical applications. exida uses modeling and probabilistic methods, combined with empirical data, to help predict product reliability.

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