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IKERLAN strengthens its position as a leader in industrial cyber security with TÜV Rheinland certification

Jul 15, 2020

In 2012 IKERLAN became the first national centre and one of the first in the international field to have a functional safety certificate, also from TÜV Rheinland.
IKERLAN strengthens its position as a leader in industrial cyber security with TÜV Rheinland certification

The IKERLAN Technology Centre has obtained certification from TÜV Rheinland for its cyber security management system, which accredits IKERLAN's ability to develop cyber-security products that meet the demanding requirements established in the IEC 62443-4-1 standard. The new certification guarantees that the procedures, organisational structure, quality system and training of the people who develop the electronic systems carried out according to this methodology are in line with the most demanding security standards.

 Specialisation in industrial cyber security is one of IKERLAN's strategic commitments, in which it has invested more than 6 million euros in the last 4 years, in order to have highly qualified researchers and state-of-the-art equipment in this field. 

The specialisation of the centre responds to one of the greatest challenges facing the industry, due to the growing threats and vulnerabilities arising from the increased demand for connectivity and, in general, from the digitisation of products and processes. The trends in the railway sector are an example of the rise of digitisation and the importance of ensuring the safety of its products and connections: level crossings, signs, access to the train, power and speed control, etc. All these systems are electronically controlled and ensuring the cyber security of these elements is fundamental.

Another important case is the energy sector, in which an electricity distribution company must guarantee the reliability of the supply as well as know the consumption of electricity in our homes remotely. Any tampering with the control elements or smart meters could have a negative impact on the business and on the end user. This makes cyber security a key factor in ensuring that electronic products, connections and the flow of information are secure.

 

Full service in industrial security

The new TÜV Rheinland certification in cyber security is added to the certification in the area of functional safety that IKERLAN obtained in 2012 - becoming one of the first organisations in Europe and the first in Spain to have this certification. IKERLAN therefore has the backing of one of the most experienced certification bodies in the world in the area of technology linked to people's safety and now to the cyber-security of systems. This double recognition underpins the position of the centre as a leader in this field.

In the words of Salvador Trujillo, head of IKERLAN's cyber security department, "obtaining this certificate is the result of many years of work well done, and places us in the Champions League of Industrial Cyber Security. We believe that this recognition validates the important position of IKERLAN in this field and complements our distinctive offer in functional security / safety, in which we are a renowned centre that is highly valued in the industry. With this in mind, we hope to continue to be a key partner for companies in their commitment to the digitisation and the protection and security of their products”.

The combination of its functional safety and cyber-security capabilities allows IKERLAN to work with industrial clients with an end-to-end security concept, considering the safety of people and the cyber-security of systems. “Functional safety allows us to develop products that are designed to respond to possible failures resulting from human error, design errors or caused by operational or environmental stress and thus avoid personal injury. Cyber security allows us to protect our own systems against actions deliberately caused by third parties, thus avoiding their malfunction or access to sensitive information" explains Salvador Trujillo.

 IKERLAN has been working for many years with the most important companies in the Basque industrial network, such as CAF, ORONA and the FAGOR Group, among others, developing high security electronic products and systems for sensitive applications.

 

Resources and partnerships

IKERLAN currently has 42 researchers organised into two teams, specialising in industrial cyber security from the point of view of the development of embedded electronic systems and their connection to IoT (Internet of Things) digital platforms. In addition to the transfer projects with various companies, IKERLAN participates in a number of research projects in the Basque Government's ELKARTEK Programme and in the nationwide CERVERA.

 At an international level, the centre is involved in more than a dozen European research projects under the H2020 programme. In these, they work on technologies such as Device Identity Management using Public Key Infrastructures (PKI), traceability management using blockchain, end-to-end cyber security, product certification standards, etc.

IKERLAN has a cyber security evaluation laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, which allows the combination of different test techniques for a comprehensive validation of the cyber security requirements of a product. The laboratory is a fundamental asset to round off IKERLAN's ability to develop certifiable products, as it provides availability of all the necessary technical resources within the organisation. This laboratory is part of the cyber security nucleus of the Basque Digital Innovation Hub (BDIH), coordinated from the BCSC, and is available to companies in the area, whether or not they have an active relationship with IKERLAN. 

In terms of strategic alliances, at a local level, the centre has been part of the Basque Centre for Cybersecurity (BCSC) since its very creation and also works with the newly created CYBASQUE cluster and INCIBE, as well as with the most important clusters in other sectors such as GAIA and AFM.

 At an international level, IKERLAN works with leading centres such as Radboud University and the Dutch company RISCURE.

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