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OT/IT Gateway IGW/936A: Domain formation and isolation between Ethernet-based IT and OT netzworks

IGW/936A: Secure OT/IT Integration

Various EU regulations, most of which were launched in 2022, give cybersecurity a completely new significance for networked machines and plants as well, in other words, everything that is now grouped together under the generic term "Operation Technology" (OT).

In the context of networked machines and plants, protection against cyber attacks is a demanding challenge, especially at the connection points between IT and OT networks. And this is exactly what the multifunctional OT/IT gateway IGW/936A was developed for.

Main Focus Cybersecurity

The IGW/936A offers a wide range of configuration options that can be individually adapted to the specifics of an OT/IT integration.

Based on an innovative service-oriented gateway concept, the maximum possible cybersecurity can therefore be realized for a specific task.

Further applications for the IGW/936A are:

  • Industrial layer4/lLayer7 firewall
  • VPN gateway with MFA security
  • Unidirectional gateway (OT/IT data diode)
  • Virtual OT patch management

Highlights

  • Physical and logical OT/IT segmentation
  • Option for unidirectional data flow from the OT network to the IT network
  • No open TCP/UDP ports from the IT network to the OT network
  • Blocking of all incoming ARP/ICMP traffic
  • Sensor option to detect intrusions from the IT direction
  • Option to detect abnormal data traffic in the OT network
  • Interfaces for external sensors, e.g., sabotage detection, control cabinet door open
  • A/B dual boot partitions

Infrastructure module for domain formation and isolation

The adjacent figure shows the IGW/936A as an infrastructure module for domain isolation between the Ethernet-based networks of an IT and OT environment.

In addition, various OT modules in RS485-based bus systems, such as Modbus RTU, can be addressed from an Ethernet-based IT network via an IGW/936A.
Thereby an access rights management down to the single Modbus data point is possible.

Virtual Patching

A virtual patch does not close the security gap of a faulty application or firmware of a component. Instead, it uses an external intermediate or isolation layer to ensure that the vulnerability cannot be exploited by external access for cyber attacks. The following illustration describes a fictitious example with the IGW/936A.

1

There is a component within the OT network with a known vulnerability in the TCP/IP protocol stack. This vulnerability can be used to put the component into an inactive state, which can only be exited by interrupting the supply voltage.
A software update is not available for this component. However, as the component has special properties for the entire system operation, it cannot simply be replaced by another model.

2

The data flow of the connection process is analysed with regard to external access to the affected component.

It turns out that an IT application exists to manage the configuration and operating data for the component. HTTP(S) is used for this. In this respect, access from the IT network to the component in the OT network cannot be dispensed with.

3

A piece of software with an HTTP(S) proxy server function is developed for the connection process and installed on the IGW/936A via a patch management server. This prevents direct access from the IT network to the affected component; only indirect proxy access is now possible.

4

The data flow of the proxy server function on the IGW/936A creates two HTTP(S) connections:
The proxy server function forms an HTTP(S) server in the direction of the IT network and an HTTP(S) client in the direction of the faulty OT component.

Technical Data

Single Board Computer
Model DIL/NetPC DNP/8331
Processor
Manufacturer / Type Sochip S3 with ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
Clock speed 1008 MHz
Memory
RAM 128 MB DDR3 SDRAM
Flash 8 GB NAND Flash mass storage for operating system and application software
Interfaces
Ethernet 2x 10/100 Mbps (RJ45)
USB 1x USB 2.0 Host
Serial I/Os 1x RS485 serial port (screw terminal)
1x RS232/RS485 serial port (screw terminal)
Special Functions
RTC 1x Real Time Clock
Watchdog 1x Timer Watchdog
(hardware-based, software-configurable)
1x Power supervisor (hardware-based)
Displays / Control Elements
LEDs 1x Power
1x Status
1x System status (programmable)
1x VPN-Status (programmable)
Electrical Characteristics
Power supply 12 .. 24 VDC ) from external power suppl
Power consumption < 10 W
Mechanical Characteristics
Protection class IP20 industrial case for 35 mm DIN-rail mounting
Mass < 270 g
Dimensions 112 mm x 100 mm x 45 mm
Operating temperature 0 .. 60 °C
Standards and Certifications
EMC CE
Environmental standards RoHS, WEEE

Software

Software
Operating System SSV Debian Buster Linux
Boot Loader U-Boot boot loader with A/B dual boot partitions
Administration SSV/WebUI plus firmware
Security TCP/IP protocol stack with IPv4 and IPv6 support and various security protocols
Firewall netfilter + iptables, UDP/TCP-/application firewall

SSV Software Systems GmbH

Dünenweg 5
30419 Hannover

Phone: +49(0)511 · 40 000-0
Fax: +49(0)511 · 40 000-40

sales@ssv-embedded.de


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