This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for more information about the CAP program.
Which of the following security risks is LEAST likely to disrupt operations at a geothermal power plant and result in an emergency situation?
a) connections to the Internet
b) inadvertent network failures
c) email viruses
d) remote access to network components
e) none of the above
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Automation systems are vulnerable to all of these risks, but email viruses pose the least risk to disrupt operations and create an emergency situation. Email is the only item above that is potentially not directly connected to the operating control system. Information technology and other experts should work together to find alternatives that will provide adequate security commensurate with the individual risks identified by the security assessment and security audit processes.
The correct answer is C, email viruses.
Reference: Nicholas Sands, P.E., CAP and Ian Verhappen, P.Eng., CAP., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge. To read a brief Q&A with the authors, plus download a free 116-page excerpt from the book, click this link.