PHYSICAL CYBER SECURITY
PROTECTING CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WHEN EVERYTHING IS ON (THE) LINE
IT systems across government and industry have been moving to the cloud for years, and the operational technology (OT) systems that power our cities, deliver clean water to our homes, and defend our nation are following a similar path. Assets from chillers and internal networks, to tracked vehicles and weapons systems have become a part of a long chain of interconnected devices with an open end to the “Internet”. This allows for remote monitoring and the use of AI-powered predictive analytics to improve efficiency and resilience. However, this connectivity is under constant cyberattack.
Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure have come from nation states and criminal enterprises seeking to destroy equipment and to inject ransomware. Recent events such as the attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which cut-off a large portion of the US East Coast’s fuel supply, show that the danger is clear and ever more present.
Traditional Cybersecurity does not work
Traditional cybersecurity defenses like firewalls and threat detection systems let malicious code through because they rely on patches and updates that come “after the fact”. In addition, they:
- Require time and manpower to implement.
- Protect only from known threats.
- Prepare for yesterday’s war.
- Are not effective enough when lives are on the line
Data diodes transmit data into or out of high security networks and critical infrastructure, physically isolating the protected network. These devices provide a physical barrier to attack, sending data in only one direction using light. Data diodes have protected critical assets, like nuclear power plants and intelligence agency networks from attack for several years. However, these legacy devices are often expensive (>$100,000 per device), hard to install, oversized for most applications, and required additional servers and IT infrastructure to operate. These are the reasons they are not widely deployed into other critical infrastructure.
An end-to-end integrated solution, with next generation data diodes of “install and forget” functionality, manufactured in the United States, supported by Cloud integration, powered by AI analytics and for 1/10 of the cost of the legacy diodes. Our partnership with our device manufacturer has produced an integrated solution of next generation data diodes that can now protect customers at less than 1/10 of the cost with a far easier setup and without the need for additional equipment or software. Assets, from chillers and internal networks, to tracked vehicles and weapons systems, can be rapidly brought into the cloud for monitoring and their data can be now transmitted securely and used by AI-powered predictive analytics for improved efficiency and resilience.
The devices have been tested by the Army’s Threat Systems Management Office (TSMO) at Redstone Arsenal.
Sample Use Case scenarios of secure data transmission for asset tracking and AI-powered predictive analytics
1. Secure File Transfer between computers/networks
2. Device Power Consumption
3. Temperature sensors
4. Asset Tracking and maintenance prediction analysis