WirelessHART Security Update

In recent weeks, there have been third party reports regarding security vulnerabilities of WirelessHART® systems. Emerson’s security experts have investigated and evaluated these claims. There are no known instances of successful security breaches in a customer setting to date and Emerson is doing everything possible to ensure that this remains the case. The vulnerabilities involved individuals who had physical access to the systems and disassembled the transmitter, to extract memory contents with specialized tools, in order to look for encryption keys. These concerns do not apply to manufacturers and producers with proper physical and network security practices in place.

Emerson has always suggested that customers implement the following security best practices to mitigate any potential security risk associated with the WirelessHART systems:

  • Control physical access
  • Change join keys
  • Use an Access Control List

Emerson's Melissa Stiegler


I spoke with Emerson’s Melissa Stiegler, Senior Global Wireless Product Manager, and she emphasized that Emerson is committed to designing, delivering and maintaining robust and secure products. Protecting our products against security threats is a top priority and is why we have a dedicated security staff to continuously monitor, analyze and respond to any potential security issue and offer mitigations if and when necessary.

“We’re working with Emerson security experts, as well as engaging third party experts to help design and maintain the robust security of our products. Emerson is committed to reviewing threats as they become known, issuing notifications when necessary, and providing mitigations and solutions in a timely manner. We use opportunities like these to consistently deliver more secure products to our users,” said Melissa.

EMR WiHART and WiFi Security WPEmersonProcess-WSEGFor further information on ways to mitigate risks for wireless security, see our WirelessHART System Engineering Guide, an Emerson Wireless Security whitepaper.

Or, visit our Emerson wireless security webpage.

You can also connect and interact with other wireless security experts in the Wireless group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

For further questions, please contact Emerson at SmartWireless@Emerson.com.

Posted Monday, February 8th, 2016 under Wireless.

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