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Richard Brooks's picture
Co-Founder and Lead Software Engineer, Reliable Energy Analytics LLC

Dick Brooks is the inventor of patent 11,374,961: METHODS FOR VERIFICATION OF SOFTWARE OBJECT AUTHENTICITY AND INTEGRITY and the Software Assurance Guardian™ (SAG ™) Point Man™ (SAG-PM™) software...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Dec 15, 2020
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NERC has provided a very clear response to this Question regarding software verification and integrity regarding CIP-010-3 Part 1.6:  Can a registered entity provide signed software or hashes when possible but rely on attestations in some cases for both software source verification and software integrity verification (CIP-010-3 R1 Part 1.6)?
No, in general, ERO Enterprise audit teams do not accept attestations as primary evidence for performance-based Standards. Some vendors do not have the tools for end users to verify the software integrity obtained. If this were the case, the audit team likely would examine applicable mitigating measures taken for these exceptions. As CIP-010-3 R1 Part 1.6 states, “when the method to do so is available to the registered entity from the software source,” the ERO Enterprise recommends registered entities consider how vendor capability may impact the development of potential internal or external mitigation controls in lieu of vendor support for Part 1.6.

Energy Central hosted a session on software supply chain best practices to address NERC CIP-010-3 Part 1.6 on 8/12/2020; an on-demand recording of this session is available here: https://energycentral.com/o/energy-central/demand-energy-central-powersession-series-cybersecurity-us-power-grid-software

Never trust software, always verify and report!

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Thank Richard for the Post!
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