Impact of Security on Automated Test Systems


As organizations look to shore up their defenses against cyber-security threats, special-purpose test systems present unique challenges. A test system that is compromised can have a significant impact on an organization’s reputation and revenue, so it is reasonable to take steps to reduce that business risk. The challenge, however, is to account for the ways that test systems differ from traditional IT systems. In this paper, examine industry cyber-security trends that relate to test systems. See real-world examples that highlight key issues, and learn practical steps you can take to address those issues. Also find out how NI, as a leading supplier of test and measurement hardware and software, addresses security concerns.


Addressing the cyber-security needs of a test system is complex. It can either get bogged down in an infinite number of potential security risks or never get started because it seems overwhelming. Realistically, perfect security is unachievable because every solution can theoretically be compromised given enough resources and time. Instead of either extreme, start by prioritizing issues based on realistic scenarios and address the most import issues first, applying commonsense along the way.

Topics Covered

  • Applying IT Security to Test Systems
    • Test systems are less tolerant of configuration changes than IT systems are
    • Test systems have unique security needs not addressed by standard IT security practices
  • Supply Chain Compromise
    • Supplier diversity can be costly
    • Test system integrity can be undermined long before you receive the hardware and software
    • Targeted attacks can be delivered through generally available components
  • Growing Attention to the Insider Threat
    • These low-probability but high-impact events can be under-addressed in risk management


 Next Steps