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OPC unified architecture: security built-in by design scaling from sensor to IT enterprise and cloud

The increasing networking and digitization of industrial systems entails new security challenges that need to be addressed systematically. A trustworthy, secure handling of sensitive data such as product and production knowledge is just as necessary as the protection against attacks on the networked systems. OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is a platform and vendor independent communication technology for a secure and reliable data exchange from sensor to IT enterprise in different domain. In addition, the information models of the OPC UA standard provide the foundation for a semantic interoperability. IEC61850 and IEC61400-25 information models are mapped to OPC UA already - as result delivering an end-to-end secured standard system with built in security by default. Security was a fundamental OPC UA design requirement so it was built into the architecture from ground up. OPC UA security addresses key issues like the authentication and auditing of OPC UA clients and servers, message confidentiality, integrity, and availability, and the verifiability of functional profiles. As OPC UA is relevant for initiatives like Industrie4.0 security experts have reviewed both the specification and open source code.

Author(s):

Stefan Hoppe    
OPC Foundation
Germany

 

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