A Rugged Security Solution for Vulnerable Industrial Control Systems

A Rugged Security Solution for Vulnerable Industrial Control Systems

Industrial control systems (ICS) such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems are essential technologies in many industries, allowing organizations to collect, aggregate and analyze data, automate processes and monitor infrastructure over distance. Given the strategic value of these systems, it’s no wonder they have become enticing targets for cybercriminals.

ICS attacks have increased by more than 2,000 percent since 2018, according to the recently released IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2020. Mass malware attacks have targeted systems essential to manufacturing, energy, water treatment, chemical processing and telecommunications companies. One recent study found that nearly 70 percent of oil and gas firms have experienced ICS attacks that exposed confidential information or disrupted operations.

The distributed nature of the industries that rely on these systems makes security a challenge. Manufacturing, oil and gas production, power generation, water treatment and telecommunications companies usually have sprawling operations with sites in hard-to-reach locations that require remote monitoring for performance, quality control and safety. They frequently require ICS deployments in harsh environments where extreme temperatures, wind, rain, ice, dirt and even vibrations can wreak havoc on sensitive hardware.

Get Tough

Conventional firewalls and security appliances designed to be used in climate-controlled office environments or server rooms are of little use in such environments. Instead, organizations need a “ruggedized” solution that has been specifically engineered to deliver consistently effective security under the most extreme conditions.

WatchGuard Technologies’ new Firebox T35-R security appliance fits the bill. Featuring enterprise-grade security features in an industrially hardened enclosure, the T35-R allows organizations to boost security at remote locations without worrying about device failure or downtime as the result of environmental conditions.

The T35-R comprises a 940Mbps firewall with integrated security measures such as antivirus, intrusion prevention, unified threat management, cloud sandboxing, data loss prevention, and threat correlation and network discovery in an IP64-rated industrial enclosure. That rating signifies that the appliance is both dust- and splash-proof, and capable of operating in temperatures from 40 degrees below zero to 140 degrees. That means you can deploy in extreme conditions without the need to build a special enclosure.

Easy Does It

The appliance features WatchGuard’s RapidDeploy, a “zero-touch” configuration technology that dramatically simplifies deployment in remote locations. RapidDeploy allows you to create and store Firebox configuration data in the cloud and have an appliance directly shipped to its destination. Once the device arrives, a user only need plug it in — RapidDeploy will automatically download and apply your stored configuration. This saves travel time and man hours for individual security deployments at remote industrial sites.

In addition to easy configuration and deployment, the T35-R enables simplified management across distributed environments. WatchGuard Cloud Visibility provides a suite of tools for rapidly identifying network security threats so you can take immediate preventive or corrective action. Real-time network activity is presented with interactive dashboards that make it easy to spot unusual traffic patterns or bandwidth usage that might indicate an attack in progress.

The appliance also addresses known threats to industrial control systems. The built-in intrusion prevention system includes SCADA-specific IPS signatures for identifying known ICS exploits.

Cybercriminals target industrial control systems for financial gain, industrial espionage, political causes or just general disruption of services. To date, organizations have been hard-pressed to implement strong security solutions for ICS deployments in remote areas with harsh environmental conditions.

As a longtime WatchGuard partner, Verteks can help you take advantage of the Firebox T35-R. Let us help you implement this rugged security appliance that can withstand otherwise unforgiving deployment conditions.