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Cybersecurity

Looking to secure remote operations

The Forge Cybersecurity Suite offers passive asset discovery, active asset discovery, risk monitoring capabilities, and more to ensure that remote operations remain secure.

By Gregory Hale July 25, 2020
Courtesy: Keagan Gay, CFE Media and Technology

Threats continue to rise and vulnerability exposure is becoming more glaring during these challenging times, but the goal these days is to maintain business continuity and continue operations in an effective and secure manner.

“The challenge is how does the customer maintain business continuity and enable both their employees and vendors, contractors and others to continue to operate at the same level of productivity and support from remote locations as they do on site,” said Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Connected Enterprise Cybersecurity during a press conference last week unveiling, among other issues, the updated Forge Cybersecurity Suite. “That is the biggest challenge.”

The Forge Cybersecurity Suite includes enhancements to help ensure business continuity in the face of mounting cyberthreats, uncertain global business conditions and continued supply chain disruption. It incorporated 200 new features such as:

  • Enhanced industrial-grade remote access
  • Passive asset discovery
  • Active asset discovery
  • Risk monitoring capabilities
  • Security policy management capabilities.

“We extended visibility we provide to customers to identify different assets and protocols and provide important information regarding those assets,” Zindel said.

As more critical infrastructure and facility operators move to support remote work, that means their operations are facing more challenges with leaves them open to potential attacks.

“The most significant challenge facing users is literally the lock down on travel and access to facilities,” Zindel said. “Customers around the world weren’t faced with that and having the comfort of knowing that employees, contractors and equipment vendors would have onsite access to their operational technology systems on an ongoing basis. With COVID-19, that changed in a dramatic fashion. Not only do you have travel restrictions, you have countries that are shut down and cities that are shut down, which then provides an enormous challenge for these facilities which must continue to operate. We have seen an dramatic increase for requests and also deployments for our solutions for remote access and remote operations because it is industrial grade that is designed for these environments.”

Zindel then offered an example of what one user was facing.

“One customer had 60 different vendors that needed ready access to different assets and pieces equipment and systems at a facility. Those vendors either needed to be on site, or be able to access those assets and systems remotely – and they were incredibly insecure. We found a whole combination of individual connections that were set up to accommodate and individual vendor using RDP or VPN or a dial up gateway in some cases which provided a massive risk to the customer site. They are working with us now to replace all those with a single secure controlled connection,” he said.

There are three types of Forge Cybersecurity Suite offerings:

  • Enterprise core
  • Enterprise premium
  • Site version for deployment in individual locations or at air gapped sites.

With the three types of offerings, users can scale to their needs to match their security requirements and budgets. In addition, it can end up deployed either as a subscription or through Honeywell’s Managed Security Services offering.

This content originally appeared on ISSSource.comISSSource is a CFE Media content partner.


Gregory Hale
Author Bio: Gregory Hale is the editor and founder of Industrial Safety and Security Source (ISSSource.com), a news and information website covering safety and security issues in the manufacturing automation sector.