Moxa Helps Customers Shore Up Industrial Cybersecurity to Get Back to the New Normal

July 9, 2020

Moxa Inc., a provisioner of industrial communications and networking, has recently introduced its new industrial cybersecurity solution, EtherCatch IEC-G102-BP Series IPS, EtherFire IEF-G9010 Series next-generation firewall, and Security Dashboard Console security management software. This solution will shore up network defense for critical manufacturing and infrastructure, empowering business owners to get back to the new normal, quickly and safely.

As companies restart production after their factories have stood idle for several weeks or even months, they quickly realize that it is difficult to operate production processes that were designed to maximize efficiency. To ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to, processes are being rearranged to reduce tasks that require multiple personnel to complete. Connecting more field devices, aggregating data, and performing remote monitoring to ramp up production have become the new normal for companies. However, a rise in interconnectivity between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) also increases the attack surface and therefore introduces potential cyberthreats to the previously isolated industrial networks. Ultimately, the challenges that businesses face to reopen quickly and safely become more and more difficult.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020, large-scale cyberattacks and the subsequent breakdown of critical information infrastructure and networks, pose a major risk to the global economy. As the world is struggling to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also an ongoing effort to curb virtual viruses inside industrial environments. During the first five months of 2020, several cybersecurity incidents have affected critical manufacturing and infrastructure. For instance, production operations in the utility, health care, and manufacturing industries were disrupted by malware attacks. It is essential for companies to reduce potential cybersecurity risks that may consequently hinder their ability to get their industrial operations back up and running.

“Ramping up production to close the supply and demand gap especially for the high-tech manufacturing industry is now the first priority for our customers. Our customers asked us how to enhance industrial network security while keeping operations up and running. Our industrial cybersecurity solution is the answer. It includes critical IT cybersecurity technologies such as an Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), a key component for defense-in-depth strategies, which has been specifically tailored to protect OT networks from cyberthreats without disrupting industrial operations,” said Minghao Cheng, Product Manager of Moxa’s Industrial Network Security Unit.

As system availability is often the most important consideration for OT systems, IT cybersecurity solutions cannot fulfill the requirements of securing industrial networks. For instance, there are OT systems that have legacy devices and cannot apply security patches even though IT security policies have made it clear that security patches should be available and updated when required. In some scenarios, system operations must stop before security updates can be made, which business owners find less than ideal. Furthermore, as OT systems communicate using industrial protocols, this communication is often invisible and needs tailor-made software to interpret it. A more effective approach, such as OT-centric Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), is needed to prevent operations from being affected by cyberthreats and attacks and to ensure businesses can get back to the new normal. Moxa’s industrial cybersecurity solution can help tackle these challenges. The solution consists of EtherCatch IEC-G102-BP Series industrial next-generation IPS, EtherFire IEF-G9010 Series industrial next-generation firewall, and Security Dashboard Console (SDC) security management software, which can proactively protect OT systems from malicious cyberactivity, quickly remedy vulnerabilities on affected OT equipment via virtual patching, and easily enhance the visibility of industrial networks.

Moxa’s Industrial Cybersecurity Solution

  • Protect OT Systems From Malicious Cyberactivity

The EtherCatch Series industrial next-generation IPS and EtherFire Series industrial next-generation firewall protect critical assets such as PLCs and HMIs at the edge of OT networks. The EtherCatch and EtherFire, equipped with OT-centric DPI technology, can sniffer network traffic and give users visibility of existing assets and connections, which help administrators and operators understand the condition of current OT systems with fine-grained behavior monitoring and control of cyberactivities. 

  • Pattern-based Virtual Patching

Performing patching frequently significantly reduces a system’s exposure to cyberthreats. However, it continues to be a critical challenge in OT environments. “Virtual Patching” technologies can complement existing patch management processes by shielding against vulnerabilities. Virtual patching acts as an agentless emergency security tool that network administrators and operators can use quickly to remedy vulnerabilities on affected OT equipment.

  • Real-time Visibility and Central Management

Moxa’s Security Dashboard Console (SDC) includes an intuitive, real-time management feature for administrators and operators to manage the EtherCatch and EtherFire Series from one place. The SDC can orchestrate and automate security policy, monitor network activity at a glance in real-time, and execute policy, firmware, and pattern updates quickly to the EtherCatch and EtherFire Series.

“Getting back to the new normal increases the challenges of OT/IT convergence especially for cybersecurity,” said Samuel Chiu, General Manager of Moxa Networking Co., Ltd. “The pandemic is leading to an acceleration in cybersecurity adoption. We are strongly committed to enhancing our portfolio to further help our customers on their digitalization journey. Our customers will benefit from our industrial cybersecurity solution with centralized management that is tailored for OT networks, allowing IT managers, plant operation managers, and manufactures to secure plants and remote filed sites.”

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