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Verano--Improving Industrial Network Security

Industrial Strength

  • December 5, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

Are your industrial control networks protected?

Verano is on a mission to safeguard industrial control networks... like manufacturing plants, waterworks, or electrical grids. They use a combination of hardware, proprietary and Open Source based software to head off threats, both internal and external to the protected network.

The company has added some interesting new features, since our LinuxPlanet interview last summer. Back then, they were still educating clients on the need for specialized cyber protection, in industrial applications.

Lori Dustin, Vice President of Marketing and Services for Verano, said she has seen a definite increase in IT people responsible for plant cyber security, showing up at conferences.

She's encouraged by the trend, because IT and Plant Operations have traditionally been at odds on who runs and maintains security for an industrial complex. IT have not always understood the uninterruptible and real-time nature of the industrial network. And since plant operations usually didn't fall under the CIO, they'd have to set up fire walling, intrusion detection, and threat management, on their own. It's good to see the two groups understanding each other's needs a little better.

Another trend Dustin has seen is the idea of "segmented control networks." In the past, most companies have had a giant plant network that included all the real-time systems. Today, companies are beginning to segment their plant networks, with various legs servicing certain processes or machines. This makes it easier to manage and isolate threats.

Verano has worked hard to make plant security straightforward and familiar, at a reasonable price. Dustin said that companies can start protecting their plant networks for under US$15,000.

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