Tofino security device protects SCADA system components

The Tofino Industrial Security Solution from MTL and Byres Security has successfully completed Beta testing and is now available for purchase. The Tofino Industrial Security Solution offers SCADA and process control companies a layered security device for their industrial systems by deploying low-cost security appliances directly in front of each control device (or group of devices) that needs protection. These appliances provide protection directly in front of the critical edge device. This enables a defence-in-depth strategy to be used, so even if a hacker or virus manages to get through the main corporate firewall, they will still be faced with an array of SCADA-focused security devices that need to be breached before any damage can be done to the control system itself.

Dr Graeme Philp, Chief Executive of MTL, states: "It is easy to see how Open networks benefit end users, EPCs and system vendors alike, being based on international standards and therefore providing the ideal platform for future refinement and development by multiple vendors. Open systems need multi-layer protection that can be installed and commissioned without needing an expert in IT. It needs to be compact, rugged and it needs to basically install and configure itself. Tofino is a major advance in this direction."

Following extensive internal testing, Tofino was installed at a number of field installations at key industry sites in the hydrocarbon, food, and other industries. The results confirm that, unlike traditional IT firewall or encryption products, Tofino easily meets the environmental needs, staff capabilities and industry requirement for an Industrial Ethernet security device. Its patent-pending zero configuration features make it so simple to use that electricians and instrumentation technicians can install it without any specific training. Yet at the same time, company security specialists can confidentially monitor the system from anywhere in the world, reacting to threats in a co-ordinated company-wide manner. Best of all, Tofino is much more than a firewall, since its dynamically loadable security modules can also provide encryption, intrusion detection and control protocol-aware security products tailored to specific plant floor devices.

Defence-in-depth security

According to MTL, the Beta tests have proved that with Tofino, a true defence-in-depth security product suitable for installation in the plant environment is now available. Tofino provides the needed layers of protection to the plant environment communications networks by adding many more layers of security down to the field controller level of the network.

The success of the product meeting this target requirement is confirmed at one of the Beta test sites by the Manager of Plant Systems in a major USA food company, who comments: "Tofino exceeded our expectations during our pilot testing. We threw our best hacking and DoS ammunition at the protected PLC and Tofino blocked every attempt, while still allowing authorised controls communication to flow unimpeded. Our operators never saw a difference. Tofino can, and does, provide the necessary protection for our plant devices."

Eric Byres, Security expert and CTO of Byres Security, notes: "For years the IT world has known that a big corporate firewall on its own is just not enough when it comes to security. If it was, we would not be loading all this firewall and anti-virus software into our PCs. Tofino brings the strategy of critical edge protection to the control system, giving the most important devices in our plants (the PLC, DCS, HMI and so on) the same defence-in-depth security the IT department gives the receptionist's desktop. In other words, Tofino is the personal firewall, IDS and VPN of the plant floor controller."

The company claims that there are other industrial firewall products on the market, but there is no product available like the Tofino, designed by control engineers, for control engineers, so that they can focus on keeping a system reliable yet secure, meeting or exceeding all the available standards and regulations.

MTL Instruments

Power Court

+44 (0)1582 723633

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