Initial Trust Establishment for Heterogeneous Industrial Communication Networks

University dissertation from Västerås : Mälardalen University

Abstract: The severity of cyber threats towards existing and future industrial systems has resulted in an increase of security awareness in the industrial automation domain. Compared to traditional information security, industrial communication systems have different performance and reliability requirements. The safety and availability requirements can also sometimes conflict with the system security design of plants. For instance, it is not acceptable to create a secure system which may take up additional time to establish security and as a consequence disrupt the production in plants. Similarly, a system which requires authentication and authorization procedures before any emergency action may not be suitable in industrial plants.Therefore, there is a need for improvement of the security workflow in industrial plants, so that the security can be realized in practice. This also leads to the requirement of secure device deployment and secure data communication inside the industrial plants. In this thesis, the focus is on the initial trust establishment in industrial devices. The initial trust establishment is the starting point for enabling a secure communication infrastructure. Reusability analysis with financial sectors has been considered as the reuse of security solutions from this adjacent application domain can be a simple and an effective way to achieve the desired system security. Through this analysis, the reusability features have been identified and workflows have been proposed which can be used to bootstrap initial trust in the industrial process control devices and manage security workflow. A proof-of-concept implementation to prove the feasibility of the device deployment workflow has also been provided.