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Integrated security functions tackle cyber-threats

29 May, 2011

Siemens, some of whose systems were targeted by last year’s Stuxnet malware, has developed a series of products designed to enhance the security of automation networks. The products, being marketed under the Security Integrated name, provide functions such as firewalls and VPNs (virtual private networks).

The products (shown above) include:
•  versions of the Simatic NET CP 341-1 Advanced and NET CP 443-1 Advanced communications processors containing firewall and VPN functions, and allowing VPN connections to Siemens` S7-300 and S7-400 controllers;
•  the Simatic NET CP 1628 module, which provides firewall and VPN client facilities for industrial PCs, allowing them to be connected to protected cells;
• the Scalance S623 security module with a “demilitarised zone” port that opens up a separate and, if required, restricted access point to a network for service access; and
• Scalance M875 UMTS routers for secure access to plants via the UMTS mobile network.

The communications processors allow safety settings and access rights to be defined via the built-in firewall, thus securing access across an entire plant network. An integrated switch supports secure connections to lower-level controllers, HMIs and I/O devices.

Siemens says that to protect plants comprehensively, a variety of measures must be implemented, ranging from company guidelines on protective measures for PCs and control systems, to protecting automation cells by segmenting networks.

The company advocates the cell protection concept in which a plant network is subdivided into protected automation cells within which devices can communicate securely with each other. These cells are connected to a network via a VPN and firewall. This reduces the susceptibility of the entire production plant to failure and increases its availability, according to Siemens.

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