NCS3 - Gammalt är inte äldst

Authors:

  • Vidar Hedtjärn Swaling
  • Fredrik Malmberg Andersson
  • Jonas Clausen Mork

Publish date: 2016-11-01

Report number: FOI-R--4292--SE

Pages: 54

Written in: Swedish

Abstract

This study examines how ageing of industrial information and control systems (ICS) is regarded, and dealt with, in some societally important Swedish industries. The study is based on explorative interviews. The result reveals no significant issues with ageing in the traditional sense (i.e. an item degenerating until it stops). Instead, the main challenge is ageing in relation to contextual demands, primarily imposed by the rapidly evolving area of information, supervision and data acquisition. This means that new automation equipment very soon is considered obsolete. Primarily, the boundaries are set by the suppliers' ever shorter support horizon. A general trend is that ICS approaches IT with all of its opportunities and challenges - online and cheap, but with increased exposure to the Internet. The trend towards off-the-shelf instead of custom solutions goes hand in hand with less intimate knowledge about how systems actually work and a stronger supplier oligopoly. Possible consequences may be vulnerabilities in the form of "black boxes" and "quilts" of solutions which complicates maintenance, planning and opportunities to get support. In addition, it may complicate protection against IT attacks. The study was carried out on behalf of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) within the National Centre for the Security in Control Systems for Critical Infrastructure (NCS3).

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