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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a non-profit, professional society focused on electrical and computer sciences, engineering, and related disciplines. It develops international standards for telecommunications, IT, and power generation products and services.

The IEEE has several working groups that address issues related to control systems security. Some of these work groups are developing standards for defining, specifying, and analyzing control systems. For example, the institute is developing P1689, a standard for retrofitting cybersecurity to various communications links in a control systems, and P1711, a cryptographic standard for the same links. The institute is also developing P1686, which will define the functions and features to be provided in substation intelligent electronic devices to accommodate critical infrastructure protection programs.


The IEEE is best know for developing standards for the computer and electronics industry.

Its cybersecurity-related activities include the development of technical standards through the IEEE Standards Association, which follows consensus-based standards development processes.

The IEEE 802 standard is the most widely recognized in the computer industry:

  • IEEE 802.1: Standards related to network management.
  • IEEE 802.2: General standard for the Data Link Layer in the OSI Reference Model. The IEEE divides this layer into two sublayers, the data link control (DLC) layer and the media access control (MAC) layer. The MAC layer varies for different network types and is defined by standards IEEE 802.3 through IEEE 802.5.
  • IEEE 802.3: Defines the MAC layer for bus networks that use CSMA/CD. This is the basis of the Ethernet standard.
  • IEEE 802.4: Defines the MAC layer for bus networks that use a token-passing mechanism (token bus networks).
  • IEEE 802.5: Defines the MAC layer for token-ring networks.
  • IEEE 802.6: Standard for Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs).


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