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Digitalization and its challenges

The Internet of Things, digitalization, and the increasing number of connected components also means an increase in the risk of cyberattacks. The vast amount of interconnected devices in addition to the complexity of today's IT architectures has made it far easier for hackers to infiltrate third-party systems, disrupt utility services inside organizations and cause severe long-term economic damage. This has mostly been a problem of IT only for a long period, however, due to the paradigm shift towards Ethernet-based protocols and the convergence of IT / OT similar problems are beginning to arise inside industrial facilities and automation plants. The risk of shutting down productions by impairing the devices' availability, stealing sensitive machine data or even putting worker safety at risk makes protective measures mandatory in those environments.

Leveraging Hilscher's expertise in communication

Due to the fact that Hilscher is one of the major suppliers of communication and networking technologies and products cybersecurity has become a topic of great importance. To fulfill customers' needs, minimize their risk for security breaches and support their path towards secure digitalization, Hilscher has been steadily incorporating security into its software technology portfolio and its recent ASICs to be able to provide secure solutions with a defense in depth design covering both hardware and software.

Secure solutions based on IEC 62443 standards

Building secure solutions require that corresponding secure development processes are in place, practiced and continually improved and optimized. Hilscher has committed to the internationally accepted IEC 62443 standard which defines security processes for industrial and automation control systems. Hilscher takes the IEC 62443 4-1 series as a basis for its introduction of secure development lifecycle processes.

Security Testing & Quality

In order to be able to provide products that adhere to high cyber security standards, a number of actions have been taken at Hilscher that include different testing tools. Security testing is performed at various times by different development teams / departments during Hilscher's Secure Software Development Lifecycle. This includes vulnerability testing using state-of-the-art tools such as OpenVAS or Nessus in addition to static code analyzers such as PCLint or SonarQube. 

Linting is also integrated into Hilscher's automatic build system allowing for a gradual reduction of identified findings. Grammar, fuzzing, flooding and storm tests also play an integral part of Hilscher's test methodology and firmware release process. This ensures robust software that can withstand high network loads without running into denial-of-service scenarios.

The fuzzing tests conducted also essentially help to discover cyber security flaws that might have not been discovered if not a vast amount of input data and length combinations had been used. The combination of testing tools help Hilscher to provide high-quality software achieving maximum robustness, addressing cyber-security requirements in state of the art embedded systems.

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