Ensure functional security

Ensure functional security for connected and autonomous cyber-physical systems – the SAFSEC-CPS project

Systems that have traditionally been closed will now be more open to take advantage of the progress in communications infrastructure and cloud services. Many systems can therefore no longer be considered as separate units, with no regard to the environment they operate in, but as part of a larger system. Many systems are also connected to the Internet, and it must be considered that all other systems connected may potentially affect each other.

At collaborative systems are becoming increasingly linked, more and more systems become partially or completely autonomous. This applies, for example, to factory machines, different types of robots, surveillance equipment, drones, cars, buses, trucks, agricultural equipment and industrial vehicles.

Autonomous and cooperative systems are expected to increase production efficiency and potentially completely replace human efforts in hazardous and harmful environments. The prerequisite for systems of this type is that they are reliable, responsive and above all safe for persons and property that may be affected by the systems.

In order to guarantee the security of open, cooperative and autonomous systems, it is no longer possible to analyze functional security in a traditional manner, i.e. independent of other systems, in accordance with standards such as IEC 61508, IEC 62304, IEC 61513, ISO 25119 and ISO 26262. Functional security of these systems is now undoubtedly dependent on cyber security. Thus, they cannot be analyzed individually.

“The aim is to find a common model for analysis of functional security and cybersecurity in complex autonomous cyber-physical systems.”

Project to develop safe autonomous systems

The project “Securing the safety of autonomous cyber-physical systems” (SAFSEC-CPS) at Mälardalen University is a research collaboration between Knightec, Volvo Construction Equipment, ABB Robotics and the university, run by researcher Aida Čaušević, supported by the KK-Foundation.

The aim is to find a common model for analysis of functional security and cybersecurity in complex autonomous cyber-physical systems. The two characteristics considered are to be unambiguously intertwined, taking into account this mutual dependence.

Knightec har redan dragit igång ett examensarbete inom ramen för projektet där Džana Hanić and Amer Šurković, två studenter från Mälardalens högskola, ska analysera möjligheten att dokumentera och klassificera specifika attackmodeller och föreslå metoder för att skydda system från dem.

The result of the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, will be used to develop Knightec’s methods and models to identify, classify and minimize the risks that these characteristics entail in a systematic way. Part-results of work are continuously integrated into Knightec’s services, such as Connected Device Sweet Spot Pre-Study.


Over the past decade, David Wenslandt has hacked remote controlled underwater robots and software for automated collection and synchronization of nuclear data, military safety detectives, rescue services, and agencies as a developer, project manager and quality manager. He now works as a leader in the Connected Device Security area at Knightec.

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IEC 61508, International Electrotechnical Commission, 2018-03-09

IEC 62304:2006, International Electrotechnical Commission, 2018-03-09

IEC 61513:2011, International Electrotechnical Commission, 2018-03-09

ISO 25119-4:2010, International Organization for Standardization, 2018-03-09

High-tech vehicles – High-tech ISO safety standards, International Organization for Standardization, 2018-03-09

SAFSEC-CPS — Securing the safety of autonomous cyber-physical systems, Mälardalens högskola, 2018-03-09

Towards attack models of autonomous Systems of Systems, Mälardalens högskola, 2017-10-15