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Embedded protection solution for Modbus-based IIoT devices

15 February 2016

Icon Labs a provider of embedded networking and security technology, has introduced Floodgate Modbus Protocol Filtering product, an extension to its Floodgate Security Framework which adds critical protection capabilities for Industrial IoT and RTOS-based devices. 

The Floodgate Modbus Protocol filter provides the critical missing layer of security for Modbus/TCP devices.  Integrated into the device, Floodgate Modbus Protocol filtering utilises deep packet inspection to enforce virtual network segmentation and to control packets processed based upon source network address, function code, and packet data contents.
“The Modbus/TCP protocol currently lacks any real security,” said Alan Grau, president of Icon Labs. “Several attempts to add security to Modbus/TCP have been proposed, but none provide a cost-effective solution for legacy devices while maintaining interoperability with the protocol standard. Modbus packet filtering addresses this problem by enforcing policies and inserting a layer of control without changing the underlying protocol.”
Floodgate Modbus Protocol filtering is an extension of the Floodgate Firewall, an endpoint firewall solution designed for embedded and RTOS-based systems. The solution integrates with the native TCP/IP stack on the device and provides control over the packets processed by the device.  The extension provides control over the Modbus packets processed by the device based upon Modbus function code, originating IP address, or Modbus packet content.  Integration with the Floodgate Agent enables detection and reporting of malicious traffic. 
“Achieving security while maintaining interoperability with legacy solutions is critical to the adoption of the Industrial IoT,” said Warren Kurisu, director of product management – Runtime Solutions, Embedded Systems Division, Mentor Graphics. “Adding a layer of protection for Modbus/TCP devices closes a critical security loophole for Industrial Automation Systems.”

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