Security technology for OPC-based industrial automation

Deep packet inspecting firewall helps secure any system using OPC industrial integration protocol.

09/22/2010


Byres Security has released its new Tofino OPC Enforcer firewall, part of the Tofino industrial security solution. This new module locks down any industrial network using classic OPC, which has been hard to secure up to now. Using deep packet inspection firewall technology, Byres says the Tofino OPC Enforcer provides superior security over what can be achieved with conventional firewall solutions. The result is improved network reliability, availability, and security for any process control or SCADA system using OPC.

OPC is widely used in control systems as an interoperability solution, interfacing control applications from multiple vendors. Unfortunately, as numerous studies show, the technologies underlying it were designed before network security issues were widely understood.  As a result, OPC Classic has been almost impossible to secure until now.

Thomas J. Burke, president of the OPC Foundation, notes, “The Tofino OPC Enforcer is an important innovation and a great solution for all the systems that currently use OPC Classic – approximately 90% of all industrial networks”.

While the OPC Foundation is working hard to get its new and more secure OPC-UA technology into the market place, it will be years, if not decades, before all legacy OPC DA, HAD, and A&E installations are replaced. In the meantime, the Tofino product addresses the security gap by providing a plug-n-protect solution that can be deployed in minutes without changes to existing OPC systems.

The company says the platform provides two important benefits to control systems users:

• Robust security and stability for any system using OPC DA , HAD, or A&E, thus preventing industrial network attacks and accidents. This product inspects, tracks, and secures every connection made by an OPC application, opening only the exact TCP port required for a connection between an OPC client and server.

• Simple implementation without any control system changes. The Tofino hardware is simply installed into the live network and configured using a drag-and-drop editor to select permitted clients and servers. Once installed, network security is assured, with all OPC traffic managed behind the scenes.

Byres contends that the recent Stuxnet worm attacks against Siemens HMIs and PLC systems has highlighted the need for better security on the plant floor. At the same time, many incidents result from internal network problems. “Past industrial shutdowns, for example, haven’t been caused by hackers. Instead they were the result of badly configured software causing traffic storms that impacted critical controllers and other systems,” said Eric Byres, security expert and chief technical officer at Byres Security. “The Tofino OPC Enforcer LSM does much more than block hackers and viruses from accessing automation systems. Its dynamic port management techniques prevent many basic network problems from spreading throughout a plant or SCADA system.”

The Tofino OPC Enforcer is available now from Byres Security and from MTL Instruments and Belden / Hirschmann. It requires the Tofino security appliance, central management platform, and Tofino Firewall LSM.

Byres offers a free downloadable white paper “Securing Your OPC Classic Control System”, co-authored by Eric Byres and Thomas J. Burke.

www.tofinosecurity.com/opc

Edited by Peter Welander, pwelander@cfemedia.com

Visit the Control Engineering Process Control channel.

Visit the Control Engineering Information Control channel.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me