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OT security brings new challenges in the age of IoT


New ways of protection

The Internet Engineering Task Force tackled the shortcomings of TCP/IP with host identity protocol (HIP). It is an IPv4- and IPv6-compatible trust protocol that only responds to connections that have been authenticated and authorized, effectively enforcing microsegmentation. Microsegmentation achieves east-west protection without relying on firewalls — but, as Hussey explained, there is a shortcoming.

“Traditional approaches to microsegmentation are really shims, which add more complexity to the stack in exchange for enhanced east-west protection,” he said. “But inner firewalls, segmentation shims nor VPNs [and] ACLs [access control lists] can scale effectively for industrial IoT demands.”

Also, as precious as security is, changing an entire network of devices would require a significant upgrade, which can be very expensive and time-consuming.

Instead, Tempered Networks, a secure networking company, developed a platform that functions as an overlay for converged infrastructure. This means enterprises can keep their existing network and security stack in place, but deploy an industrial IoT microsegmentation overlay to protect those endpoints which are high-risk and hard to update. Thus, there will be minimum impact on existing firewalls, intrusion prevention and access control services, and IIoT devices can be easily protected and cloaked from remote, malicious reconnaissance and malware.

The technology, which was used in Boeing for 12 years before becoming commercialized, places a centralized management on the HIP, which allows it to control communication, authentication and authorization rules from a single location.

IoT will continue to grow, and businesses will find more value in bringing their devices online and enjoy the automation that follows, or the analytics and data they can collect. But because the existing technologies were not prepared for this, CIOs need to be aware of the new lurking challenges that come with OT security and how to solve them. Otherwise, they will walk on thin ice.


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