Eaton MTL

MTL Instruments Group



Industrial Ethernet Networks get an Intrinsically Secure™ solution

2006 10 02

MTL and Byres Security Inc. have announced a cooperative agreement to develop, manufacture and distribute a revolutionary new product for securing both new and legacy SCADA and process control systems. Known as the Tofino Security Solution , the system changes the way Industrial Ethernet security is managed by providing an Intrinsically Secure ™ solution right out of the box. Field technicians simply attach power to Tofino, connect two network cables and walk away, instantly transforming vulnerable control devices into highly secure fortresses.

Unlike traditional IT firewall or encryption solutions, Tofino was designed from the ground up with the environment, staff capabilities and needs of industry in mind. Its patent pending zero configuration features make it so simple that electricians and instrumentation mechanics can install it without any training. Yet at the same time, company security specialists can confidentially monitor the system from anywhere in the world, reacting to threats in a coordinated company-wide manner. Best of all, Tofino is much more that a firewall, since its dynamically loadable security modules can also provide encryption, intrusion detection and control protocol-aware security solutions tailored to specific plant floor devices.

Eric Byres, Security expert and CEO of Byres Security, notes: “ Based on our research at the BCIT Centre for Critical Infrastructure Security, we knew that industry needed a security system flexible enough to be used by a small plant with a single PLC, yet still be able to meet the needs of multi-national organizations with thousands of critical devices scattered around the globe. Tofino meets that need .”

The Tofino Security System initial product offering is scheduled for release by Q2 2007 and will include Firewall, Intrusion Detection, MODBUS, and Ethernet/IP protection modules. An associated drag and drop, thin client network management interface will make security management and monitoring as easy as navigating a web page or installing an I/O module in a PLC.

Byres adds: “It is time we accepted the fact that the staff operating and maintaining our critical control systems are, by necessity, highly trained control systems specialists and not information technology or security specialists. An electrician can’t afford to worry about creating access control lists for firewalls or configuring encryption certificates. Industrial security systems need to be based on a new paradigm that is understandable to the control technician.”

Both companies have noted a demand in the industrial automation community for a full range of security products specifically designed for the control environment. Traditional IT security products were created to protect servers or large groups of PCs that can independently run their own antivirus or host firewall software as well. In contrast, control devices such as PLC’s, DCS or Ethernet-based Remote I/O modules offer no authentication, integrity or confidentiality mechanisms and can be completely controlled by any individual that can “ping” the device. Nor can control devices be easily updated or have security features added to them. Thus they need device focused protection to ensure 100% system availability and safety.

MTL will provide both the hardware platform and global sales/support channel for the product while Byres Security will develop the security modules. MTL and Byres Security are seizing this opportunity to reinforce their respective positions as premier suppliers of interconnect and open system components and industrial security to DCS companies, system integrators and end-users and security needs of their control infrastructure. The team is also in active discussions with several leading control system manufacturers to offer Tofino as an integrated portion of the control system platform.

Eric Byers adds “MTL is the perfect partner to bring this solution to industry - MTL’s reputation as a supplier of choice for reliable industrial interconnection components, its manufacturing capabilities, and its worldwide customer support teams are uniquely focused on the process control market.”

Dr Graeme Philp, Chief Executive of MTL added, “The Byres Security team are globally recognized authorities on the design and protection of Industrial Security. I am delighted to be working closely with Byres Security and thereby strengthening MTL’s position as a key supplier of open system components to the process control industry.”