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Belden releases new plug-n-protect OPC firewall to provide robust cyber security for automation facilities

14 September 2010

New Hirschmann(tm) EAGLE20 Tofino OPC Enforcer protects networks using OPC Classic, the world's most widely used industrial integration protocol.

Belden has recently introduced version 1.6.0 of its Hirschmann(tm) EAGLE20 Tofino industrial network security system, including the new EAGLE20 Tofino OPC Enforcer Loadable Software Module (LSM). Developed by Byres Security Inc. for Hirschmann(tm), the OPC Enforcer locks down any system using the widely installed OPC Classic protocol, providing superior security over what can be achieved with conventional firewall solutions. The result is improved network reliability and security for the process control and SCADA industries.

OPC Classic is widely used in control systems as an interoperability solution, interfacing control applications from multiple vendors. But the technologies underlying it were designed before network security issues were widely understood. As a result, OPC Classic has been almost impossible to secure until now. Thomas J. Burke, President, OPC Foundation, commented "The Tofino OPC Enforcer is an important innovation and a great solution for the 90% of industrial networks that use OPC Classic."

The EAGLE20 Tofino OPC Enforcer provides two important benefits:

1. It provides robust security and stability for systems using OPC Classic, thus preventing industrial network attacks and accidents. Unlike other firewalls, this product inspects tracks and secures every connection made by an OPC application, opening only the exact TCP port required for a connection between an OPC client and server.

2. It is implemented without any system changes. The EAGLE20 Tofino hardware is simply installed into the live network and configured using a drag and drop editor to select permitted clients and servers. Once installed, network security is assured, with all OPC traffic managed behind the scenes.

While a lot of the headlines around cyber security focus on hacker attacks, in fact many incidents result from internal network incidents.

"Past plant shutdowns, for example, haven't been caused by hackers. Instead they were the result of badly configured software causing traffic storms that impacted critical controllers and other systems," said Eric Byres, security expert and Chief Technical Officer at Byres Security. "The EAGLE20 Tofino OPC Enforcer LSM does much more than block hackers and viruses from accessing the safety system. Its dynamic port management and built-in traffic-rate controls prevent many basic network problems from spreading throughout a plant."

"OPC Classic is deployed extensively by many of our automation customers, and these customers recognize the need for defense in depth security." remarked Mark Cooksley, Product Manager for Network Security at Belden. "Unfortunately in practice, the unique challenges presented by OPC have meant that networks supporting this protocol are inadequately protected against modern threats. Now, for the first time, the OPC Enforcer ensures that networks running OPC Classic can benefit from the same pervasive security protection that is standard for networks using other protocols."

Availability and Requirements
The Hirschmann(tm) EAGLE20 Tofino OPC Enforcer LSM is available as of today, and requires the EAGLE20 Tofino Security Appliance and the EAGLE20 Tofino Firewall LSM.

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