Protecting Industry, Shop-Floor to Top-Floor Visibility, with Tripwire from Belden
One of the more common misnomers about OT (operational technology) is that it’s similar enough to IT for the latter’s cybersecurity methods to be applied without further consideration.
There are, however, enough significant differences to require specialist provision when it comes to alerting and monitoring industrial systems from digital attack.
Industrial operators aren’t alone, of course, in having to adapt to the challenges posed by the massive increases in data throughput and processing requirements that will be caused by breakthrough technologies, like IoT or IIoT and 5G connectivity. The nature of industrial operations, however, emphasizes the need for appropriate solutions.
Take as the first example that of prevalent plant machinery (or ‘hardware’). Unlike the steady churn of computer models crossing the office worker’s desk every two or three years, industry investment in physical infrastructure and the resources required to install it demand it to last decades, if not longer.
Tripwire, a company that’s part of the Belden group (global specialists in industrial technology and hardware) offers a platform that’s fully cognizant of the need to protect the technology and installations as they are, now, on the ground. Because unlike a data center or new piece of edge IT, it’s often not feasible to regularly upgrade to the latest, more inherently secure hardware to ameliorate against cyber-attack.
Tripwire Industrial Visibility speaks over 40 of the native network protocols used in industrial settings and uses machine learning algorithms to develop a baseline model of normal operations right across the installation. To help staff, it creates graphical network maps and datasets that can be used to monitor their systems proactively.
But the platform doesn’t confine itself to OT. The oversight capabilities of Tripwire also encompasses IT systems, so it can detect, for example, if an internet-facing system’s compromise will affect the OT portfolio, anywhere in the distributed network. In fact, Tripwire’s Industrial Visibility log management features can help bring your IT cybersecurity systems in line with compliance legislation, and best practice standards, like IEC 62443 and NIST.
The technology capabilities such as deep packet inspection can be used on IT and OT network traffic, without adding to overhead or production. This means that industrial installations from manufacturing to utilities to high-tech pharma get the best in specialist cyber alerting and monitoring without impact on operations.
By connecting to SPAN (or mirroring) ports on routers, for example, entire VLANs can be checked for anomalies defined as potentially problematic by the baseline set in Tripwire’s Whitelist Profiler (part of Tripwire’s Enterprise platform). Even accidentally misconfigured assets will be flagged and can be addressed before any breach occurs.
Partnering together, OT and IT specialists can establish the best practices to protect industrial organizations from cyber incursions. Effective segregation of flat networks into VLANs, for example, is easy to set up and monitor with Tripwire’s solutions. Breaches can be contained and isolated if they occur, and the platform helps with incident response and the restoration of an asset to a trusted state.
The challenges that face industry are numerous, and some are driven by technology – IIoT and 5G have already been mentioned, but add to that roster the requirement for remote access, analysis of operating data, the demand for predictive analysis, and even requests from partners (such as supply chain partners) for data integration. Without a robust, secure platform, the risk can outweigh the benefits.
Additionally, there are business-derived challenges on OT, like the need to fulfil KPIs and provide deep operational data analysis. Tripwire’s OT and IT platform offers cybersecurity protection from the shop floor, to the top floor, but within the specific requirements of a commercial, industrial business.
Whether it’s addressing the requirements dictated by the past (historical lack of user authentication and unencrypted OT network protocols) or the needs of the future (the deluge of data throughput to come from 5G-enabled IIoT), your partner in industrial cybersecurity needs to be Tripwire.
To learn more about how you can protect your industrial systems and IT infrastructure with one supplier, get in touch with a local representative today to request a demo.