Against a backdrop of a constantly-evolving world of cybercrime, firewalls are seen as a crucial element in the protection scheme. But there are situations when despite all its best efforts, a firewall just isn’t enough. Businesses that operate in critical industries – the ones that affect our everyday lives like oil and gas, power, transportation, manufacturing, water, and pharma – need more than just a wall made of code to protect their physical systems and processes, in these cases, software-based security just does not fulfil the need.
Enter Waterfall Security, whose patented Unidirectional Security Gateway solutions have been protecting industrial companies for over a decade. The Israel-based security company has had its hardware-based solution deployed in utilities, nuclear plants, on and off-shore platforms, refineries, transportation and manufacturing plants all over the world.
Waterfall’s Unidirectional Security Gateway is a physical protector that is ‘stronger than firewalls’ – it eliminates threats from remote external networks from entering an industrial network environment. It is made of two parts: A TX transmit appliance, which contains a laser, and the RX receiver appliance that contains an optical receiver. The two appliances, located at the plant perimeter, are linked by a fiber-optic cable and work in tandem to transmit information out of the industrial operations network into the respective, external, corporate network. The system is incapable of allowing any virus, malware, ransomware, human error, or any external information whatsoever into the industrial network, thus eliminating the #1 threat of today’s modern cyber arena – remote online attacks.
Real-time replication capabilities are a key functionality of the Unidirectional Gateway technology, and Waterfall Security offers a wide range of industrial applications and systems as “off-the-shelf” fully-productized solutions. The Unidirectional Gateway replicated systems, residing on the external network, can be used by authorized personnel and applications without the need to access the industrial network. This capability allows many teams to use the information at hand without exposing the critical network to any outside threats.
In Asia Pacific, Waterfall has implemented its security solutions in many countries and locations, including Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore. In Taiwan, the Smart Grid Demonstration Project has been using Waterfall Security since mid-2015 as a secure way to glean real-time information from power plants to the project. Working with its local partner iSecurity, Waterfall provided a safe connection to create a real-time copy of all the latest control system data. In a statement, iSecurity president Julian Su said: “We are satisfied that the recent installation of Waterfall’s Unidirectional Security Gateways has made a significant impact to the smart grid’s operations. Users feel more confident within their daily operations, knowing that their working environment is now safe and reliable.”
Does stronger security mean higher costs? Waterfall Security customers report dramatically-reduced costs compared to using traditional firewalls, thanks to the Gateway’s ability to shrink the amount of configuration needed, along with reduced auditing, training, and real-time monitoring costs.
Waterfall’s technology has been recommended by governments and regulatory bodies worldwide, and many more regulations are coming through. It is considered best practice in Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) cyber security. Waterfall will be attending a number of events across Asia Pacific in 2017, including the 2017 Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cyber Security Conference in Singapore, the Asian Utility Week event in Bangkok, Thailand, and IT Week in Japan.