Device authentication depends on a process for creating, distributing and validating Tickets which contain information needed to determine if any given Device is allowed to be connected to the OwnerOperator’s network.

There are two strategies for validating Tickets that depend on how the Tickets are acquired. The recommended approach is to rely on an out-of-band mechanism which provides the Tickets for the Devices and Composites that will be delivered to the facility before the Devices are connected to the network. This could be done automatically if the Registrar is integrated with the ERP. It can also be a manual process where a digital file is delivered to an RegistrarAdmin that uploads it to Registrar. When a new Device is detected on the network the matching Ticket is found which confirms that the Device is authorized.

The second strategy uses a Ticket that is distributed with the Device or Composite. This Ticket could be stored on the Device or on physical media that was delivered with the Device. When a Device is connected to the network the Ticket is either manually uploaded to the Registrar by the technician installing the Device or is read from the Device during the authentication process. For this strategy to be secure the Certificates used to sign the Tickets are provided to the Registrar in advance by the RegistrarAdmin. A Device is authorized to be on the network if the Ticket is valid, it matches the Device and is signed by a trusted Ticket authority.

The steps to validate a Ticket are as follows:

  1. Verify that a signing Certificate is valid and trusted;
  2. Verify the Signature is valid;

Tickets that are not valid shall not be used.

Tickets may have multiple signatures added by different actors in the supply chain. The Registrar only needs to find one Signature created by a trusted authority. This assumes that actors in the supply chain only add a Signature if at least one of the existing Signatures is valid and created by an authority the actor trusts. Registrars shall not trust authorities unless they are confident that the authority is properly validating Tickets before adding a Signature.

A signing Certificate is trusted if it is valid and the Certificate is recorded as a trusted Ticket signing Certificate with the Registrar or if the issuer is a trusted root CertificateAuthority. The latter criteria is only allowed if the Ticket was provided out of band.

The process of verifying a Certificate is described completely in OPC 10000-4, however, checks that are specific to Application Instance Certificates do not apply (e.g. the HostName and ApplicationUri checks).

Trusted root CertificateAuthorities used to issue Ticket signing Certificates are companies that maintain Internet accessible online revocation status checks. For example, companies that provide Certificates for code/document signing could be a root CertificateAuthority for Ticket signing. Each OwnerOperator is responsible for maintaining a list of trusted root CertificateAuthorities which are accepted by the organization.