If you have been thinking ISA 100 is the future wireless standard for control systems, you must read Walt Boyes analysis that the battle is over and Wireless HART has won. The tone and tenor of presentations I have been hearing for years is that ISA 100 is ready for prime time, yet the last version was pulled back from ANSI consideration earlier this year. The official reason was due to messing up on some ANSI procedures, but a use case test funded by Shell had shown the standard was incomplete and possibly unworkable. The problems identified by the test case were not security related. [If you can get your hands on a copy of the March Edition of Industrial Automation Insider there is a great article on this.]
On top of this has been an ongoing battle on whether ISA 100 should interoperate with Wireless HART. While ISA 100 has struggled, Wireless HART has surged forward with thousands of deployments and multi-vendor support. Walt concludes:
And, frankly, I think we ought to quit. The market is speaking very loudly now. People are refusing to wait for ISA to get their standard out. WirelessHART, being an IEC global standard, has pretty much won. It’s all over but the treating of the wounded, folks.
This message is especially important for the US control system security community. Since ISA 99 is a dominant force, which is warranted due to the good work, level of effort and prospects for continued influence on control system security, many take the information we get from ISA 100 at face value. How many readers thought even today that ISA 100 will be the dominant wireless DCS security standard? It is time to wake up and take a hard look at the security in Wireless HART as that is what we will be using for many years.