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The new technical report ISO/TR 22100-4 clarifies which statutory and normative safety requirements apply to manufacturers.

By Dr. Gerhard Steiger

Digital production technologies like Industrie 4.0 will only succeed on the market if the machinery and data needed are protected against cyber attacks at all times.

Under the lead of German experts in ISO/TC 199 "Safety of Machinery" the new technical report ISO/TR 22100-4 was developed in order to clarify this complex topic for machinery manufacturers. Focusing on the moment a machine is placed on the market (in the same way as the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC), the new TR offers manufacturers practical assistance.

ISO/TR 221004 "Safety of machinery - Relationship with ISO 12100 - Part 4: Guidance to machine manufacturers for consideration of related IT-security (cyber security) aspects" covers the following aspects.

Statutory requirements

Because of the fundamental differences between machinery safety and cyber security in terms of objectives, framework conditions (risks, methods, measures), dynamics and stakeholders the relationship between both items is difficult to determine.




The new technical report (TR) therefore describes how machinery manufacturers can classify the topic of cyber security within the existing statutory and normative framework - for example with a view to the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. Like other national regulations on machine safety outside the European Union, the EU Machinery Directive considers only intended use (according to the manufacturer’s specification) and reasonably foreseeable misuse by the operator.

It is therefore logical that the EU Machinery Directive does not cover any unauthorized manipulation by third parties that can be classified as a cyberattack. The same applies to the standards system for machinery safety (established in (EN) ISO 12100), as it corresponds to the principles of the EU Machinery Directive.

Impact on machinery safety

Despite all this, manufacturers of networked machines that could be subjected to cyberattacks have to take the topic into account during the development and design as far as possible for placing the machine on the market.

Recommendations for machinery manufacturers

The TR shows that cyberattacks do not represent an additional hazard with regard to machinery safety and thus also the EU Machinery Directive. These attacks can merely be the triggers that cause taken safety measures to be impaired or rendered completely inoperable.

Before considering cyber security in detail, it is therefore recommended for machinery manufacturers to first conduct a risk assessment on machinery safety in accordance with (EN) ISO 12100.

As second step manufacturers should check and, if necessary, adapt the inherent safety solutions and supplementary technical protective measures (as implemented in accordance with (EN) ISO 12100) in view of possible cyberattacks in order to reduce the risk of potential safety-related damage.

Cyberattacks are constantly changing

Cyberattacks are moving targets, subject to very dynamic change over the life cycle of a machine or system. Therefore, the suitable or required measures must also be constantly adapted.

However, machinery manufacturers have to concentrate on the development and design phase, up to the time the machine is first placed on the market. For this point, ISO/TR 22100-4 provides practical recommendations on the following levels of action:

  • Selection of suitable components (hardware, software): Safety-related components that could be potential targets for cyberattacks should have a state-of-the-art level of IT security in order to minimize vulnerability to cyberattacks.
  • Development and design of the entire machine: The manufacturer should adhere to fundamental principles that reduce vulnerability to cyberattacks. There should also be an emergency mode that puts the machine into a safe operating state as soon as critical safety functions are limited or in danger of becoming ineffective due to a cyberattack.
  • Information in the operating instructions: Manufacturers should provide to the machine user information on potential risks to machinery safety if a cyberattack occurs.

TR publication early in 2019

The technical report ISO/TR 22100-4 will be published in English by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) early in 2019. DIN is then expected to take it over as publication in German language.

Further information

VDMA Mechanical Engineering Standards   |   VDMAimpulse 05-2018 "Want to bet that you have a security gap somewhere?"   |   VDMAimpulse 05-2018 "Action is needed now"

Dr. Gerhard Steiger, VDMA Mechanical Engineering Standards.