TAM CERT Hungary Inspection and Certification Ltd.

In the ever-evolving landscape of industrial control systems (ICS), ensuring the security and reliability of these critical infrastructures is paramount. As cyber threats continue to grow in complexity and frequency, organizations operating in industrial sectors face significant challenges in safeguarding their control systems. In response to these challenges, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has developed the IEC 62443 series of standards, which includes IEC 62443-4-1, a fundamental guideline for conducting audits within industrial control systems.

What is IEC 62443-4-1?

IEC 62443-4-1 is a standard specifically designed to address the cybersecurity risks associated with ICS environments. It focuses on establishing a comprehensive auditing process that assesses the effectiveness of an organization’s cybersecurity measures and identifies potential vulnerabilities within its industrial control system.

The IEC 62443 standard Part 4-1 defines a secure development lifecycle for the purpose of developing and maintaining secure products used in industrial automation and control systems (IACS). The IEC 62443-4-1 certification firms that the developer has implemented a secure by design methodology from the first day of product development processes, which includes a complete security lifecycle and patch management.

In order to make sure that the security requirements relevant to customers are met, these industrial components shall be certified in accordance with IEC 62443-4-2. If component suppliers follow the set of guidelines that are defined in the IEC 62443-4-2 subsection, they will equip their customers with the best chance of protecting their networks against cyberattacks.

Although the component suppliers must add certain features and capabilities to their devices in order for the devices to be suitable for deployment on Industrial IoT networks, conforming to the requirements outlined within IEC 62443-4-2 guarantees secure and resilient components, which are to be procured by 62443 certified and secured IACS organizations.

security level misuse  means resources knowledge  motivation
1 accidental
2 intentional simple few general low
3 intentional sophisticated moderate ACS – specific moderate
4 intentional  sophisticated extensive  ACS – specific moderate


Certification: The IEC 62443 standard describes 4 levels of security functionality for component security (62443-4-2)

SL1: Protection against causal or coincidental violation
SL3: Protection against intentional violation using sophisticated means with moderatere sources, IACS specific skills and moderate motivation
Protection against intentional violation using simple means with low resources, generic skills
and low motivation
Protection against intentional violation using sophisticated means with extended resources,
IACS specific skills and high motivation

The Importance of Auditing in ICS:

Auditing plays a critical role in maintaining the resilience and security of industrial control systems. By conducting regular audits, organizations can gain valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of their cybersecurity practices, policies, and procedures. The benefits of auditing in ICS include:

  1. Identifying Vulnerabilities: Audits conducted in accordance with IEC 62443-4-1 help pinpoint potential vulnerabilities in an organization’s control system. By identifying these weaknesses proactively, companies can take appropriate measures to mitigate risks before they can be exploited by malicious actors.
  2. Ensuring Compliance: Many industries, such as energy, manufacturing, and critical infrastructure, have strict regulatory requirements for cybersecurity. IEC 62443-4-1 compliance provides organizations with a structured approach to meet these requirements and maintain the necessary certifications.
  3. Enhancing Resilience: Audits contribute to the development of a robust cybersecurity strategy. Organizations can use audit findings to improve their incident response capabilities, business continuity plans, and overall resilience against cyber threats.
  4. Risk Management: Understanding the risks faced by an ICS is crucial for efficient risk management. IEC 62443-4-1 compliant audits help organizations assess the potential impact of various cyber threats and prioritize their security efforts accordingly.
  5. Gaining Stakeholder Trust: Customers, partners, and regulatory bodies often require proof of effective cybersecurity practices. Compliance with IEC 62443-4-1 demonstrates an organization’s commitment to safeguarding its ICS, building trust among stakeholders.

Conducting an Audit under IEC 62443-4-1:

The IEC 62443-4-1 standard provides a systematic approach for conducting audits within industrial control systems. Key steps involved in the auditing process include:

  1. Defining Scope: Clearly defining the scope of the audit, including the systems, assets, and processes to be assessed, is essential for focusing the evaluation and ensuring its relevance to the organization’s objectives.
  2. Risk Assessment: Evaluating the risks associated with each audited area enables the organization to prioritize its efforts and allocate resources effectively.
  3. Evaluation of Security Controls: Auditors examine the existing security controls and measures in place, comparing them against the requirements of the IEC 62443-4-1 standard.
  4. Documentation and Reporting: Detailed documentation of audit findings and recommendations is crucial for helping organizations understand their current state of cybersecurity readiness and develop improvement plans.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Regular audits, ideally conducted at predefined intervals, allow organizations to track their progress and continuously enhance their cybersecurity posture.


IEC 62443-4-1 provides a valuable framework for conducting audits in industrial control systems, offering organizations a structured approach to cybersecurity evaluation and risk management. By adhering to this standard, businesses can identify vulnerabilities, maintain compliance, enhance resilience, and build trust with stakeholders. Implementing regular audits based on IEC 62443-4-1 is a proactive step towards safeguarding critical infrastructures and staying ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats in the industrial sector.

Contact us!

Tibor Kiss
Cybersecurity Certification Authority Manager
mobile: +36 30 5150840
mail: kiss.tibor@tamcert.hu

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