IEC 62443, Security Compliance, and Security Level
July 29, 2020

What Is IEC 62443? Overview + Security Levels

Security & Compliance
Static Analysis

IEC 62443 is important to protect industrial automation and control systems from security breaches. If an attempt is successful, untrustworthy agents would gain access to sensitive data, disrupt or shut down the network, and even cause industrial systems to break down.

Here, we explain what IEC 62443 is, how to comply with it, and how a static analysis tool makes IEC 62443 compliance easier.

Read along or jump to the section about IEC 62443 that interests you the most:

➡️ easy iec 62443 compliance with misra

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What Is IEC 62443?

IEC 62443 is a set of security standards for the secure development of Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS). IEC 62443 provides a thorough and systematic set of cybersecurity recommendations. It's used to defend industrial networks against cybersecurity threats.

📕 Related Resource: Learn what are the top 10 embedded security vulnerabilities and how to safeguard your software from them.
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What Are IEC 62443 Security Levels (SL)?

A key part of IEC 62443 is security levels (SL). SL is used to assess the cybersecurity risks to each system. And it helps you understand how to best address those risks.

There are five Security Level values, 0–4. SL 0 is the minimum level of risk and SL 4 is the maximum. That means that SL 4 has stricter compliance requirements than SL 0.

Security Level 0

No specific requirements or security protection are necessary.

Security Level 1

Protection against casual or coincidental violation.

Security Level 2

Protection against intentional violation using simple means with:

  • Low resources.
  • Generic skills.
  • Low motivation.

Security Level 3

Protection against intentional violation using sophisticated means with:

  • Moderate resources.
  • IACS specific skills.
  • Moderate motivation.

Security Level 4

Protection against intentional attacks with sophisticated means with:

  • Extended resources.
  • IACS specific skills.
  • High motivation.
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What are the 7 Security Level Foundational Requirements For IEC 62443?

There are seven specific foundational requirements for IEC 62443 that must be met for each SL. Meeting these IEC 62443 requirements ensures that an IACS has the right security and safety safeguards.

The IEC 62443 foundational requirements for an SL are:

1. IEC 62443: Identification and Authentication Control

Reliably identify and authenticate all users (humans, software processes, and devices) attempting to access the ICS.

2. Use Control

Enforce the assigned privileges of an authenticated user (human, software process, or device) to perform the requested action on the system or assets. Monitor the use of these privileges.

3. System Integrity

Ensure the integrity of the IACS to prevent unauthorized manipulation.

4. Data Confidentiality

Ensure the confidentiality of information on communication channels and in data repositories. Prevent unauthorized disclosure.

5. Restricted Data Flow

Segment the control system via zones and conduits to limit the unnecessary flow data.

6. Timely Response to Events

Respond to security violations. Notify the proper authority reporting needed evidence of the violation. Take timely corrective action when incidents occur.

7. Resource Availability

Ensure the availability of the control system against the degradation or denial of essential services.

Each foundational requirement for IEC 62443 has multiple conditions that need to be met depending on the SL. The higher the SL, the more conditions that must be met for the foundational requirement.

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Complying with IEC 62443

IEC 62443 provides guidance on how to ensure the secure development of an IACS. But only Part 4-1 directly applies to software development. Part 4-1 of the standard outlines the framework for how to enforce security standards compliance. An important part of that framework is the use of a static code analyzer.

📕 Related Content: Brush up on best practices for secure software development.

A static code analyzer automatically identifies vulnerabilities and defects as you code. In addition, you are able to apply a coding standard to ensure that your software is compliant and reliable.

The IEC 62443 standard requires that a static code analyzer be used to enforce secure coding standards.

These IEC 62443 recommended standards include:

This helps to ensure that your code is secure. And it keeps your code free from software vulnerabilities, reliability, and other general coding errors.

📕 Related Content: Learn more about how you can ensure software security with a SAST tool.
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Ensure IEC 62443 Compliance with Perforce

To enforce security compliance to IEC 62443 as well as to ensure the security and safety of your software, you need the right static code analyzer. And that's Klocwork static application security testing (SAST).

Klocwork SAST for C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, and Kotlin helps you apply a standard. As a result, you can eliminate software vulnerabilities and defects early in development.

Using Klocwork helps you:

  • Identify and analyze risk and help prioritize severity.
  • Fulfill compliance standard requirements based on risk and prove it.
  • Apply a coding standard and ensure that coding rules are followed.
  • Verify and validate through testing.
  • Achieve compliance and get certified faster.

See how Klocwork can help you efficiently and easily enforce security compliance to IEC 62443, register for a free seven-day trial.

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