Honeywell has announced a new solution for industrial sites looking to balance their productivity and cyber security demands.
Honeywell, launched a new cyber security solution, Secure Media Exchange (SMX) that protects industrial facilities against any current or emerging USB-borne threats, without the need for complex procedures that impact operations or industrial personnel.
The announcement coincides with the launch of Honeywell’s 2017 Middle East Industrial Cyber Security Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, this week. Continuing with events in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman during April, the summits will highlight the increasing focus on cybersecurity across the region and globally.
Safdar Akhtar, business development director, Industrial Cyber Security for EMEA and Asia at Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) said: “The launch of SMX is an important milestone in combatting cyber threats in the region and globally. The Honeywell 2017 Middle East Industrial Cyber Security Summit provides a perfect platform for this important launch, and will help inform industry stakeholders on the latest trends and technologies in industrial cyber security.
Malware spread through USB devices – used by employees and contractors to patch, update and exchange data with onsite control and computer systems – is a key risk for industrial control systems. It was the second leading threat to these systems in 2016, according to BSI publications, and uncontrolled USBs have taken power plants offline, downed turbine control workstations, and caused raw sewage floods, among other industrial accidents.
Currently many plants either ban USBs, which is difficult to enforce and significantly reduces productivity, or rely on traditional IT malware scanning solutions, which are difficult to maintain in an industrial control facility and provide limited protection.
Honeywell’s SMX was developed by the company’s cyber security experts based on field experience across global industrial sites and feedback from Honeywell User Group customers. The new solution provides hassle-free, multi-layered protection for managing USB security, letting users simply plug in and check devices for approved use in the facility. Contractors “check-in” their USB drive by plugging it into an SMX Intelligence Gateway. The ruggedized industrial device analyzes filesusing a variety of techniques included with Honeywell’s Advanced Threat Intelligence Exchange (ATIX), a secure, hybrid-cloud threat analysis service.
SMX Client Software installed on plant Windows devices provides another layer of protection, controlling which USB devices are allowed to connect, preventing unverified USB removable media drives from being mounted, and stopping unverified files from being accessed. SMX also logsUSB device connectivity and file access, providing a valuable audit capability.
Managed and maintained directly by Honeywell, SMX provides the easy and secure solution to USB security in industrial plants. It helps prevent the spread of malware through removable media; stops unverified files being read by Windows hosts; and, through the private ATIX connection, provides continually updated threat information and advanced analytics to help detect advanced, targeted, and zero-day malware.