FDI technology deploys state-of-the-art security measures to mitigate possible threat vectors in the process industry. FDI enables system-wide integration of devices while providing additional capabilities and security. FDI security measures such as secure FDI Device Packages, sandbox environments for UIPs, and OPC UA security capabilities are explained below.
Secure FDI Device Package
An FDI Device Package is a sophisticated and standardized container for all the components that are required to describe a field device in the plant. An FDI Device Package should carry one or more digitally signed FDI Registration Certificate(s) to ensure its authenticity and integrity. FDI technology’s security is enabled at multiple levels and undergoes rigorous testing and registration to ensure its safety from unauthorized access and tampering, as shown in the diagram on the right.
A User Interface Plug-In (UIP) is a software component in the FDI Device Package to represent complex device functionalities using rich Graphical User Interface. UIP is an executable element of an FDI Device Package that is executed by an FDI Host system.
OPC UA Security
OPC UA is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space. The objectives of OPC UA Security are authentication of client and server, authorization of user, integrity and confidentiality of data. OPC UA has been designed with built-in security mechanisms to address these complex security needs. In FDI, OPC UA acts as a secure communication channel between an FDI Server and an FDI Client, which can be either an operator station or HMI (Human Machine Interface) application.
Reduced Security Threat
A multitude of field devices and host systems designed by various vendors co-exist in a plant. Seamless exchange of data in such a heterogeneous environment is vital for smooth plant operation. A standardized device integration technology plays a crucial role in the safety of that entire ecosystem.