HomeHealthOT distant entry: are you able to belief your technician’s laptop computer?

OT distant entry: are you able to belief your technician’s laptop computer?

Zero Belief Community Entry (ZTNA) is a safe distant entry service that verifies distant customers and grants entry solely to particular sources at particular instances based mostly on identification and context insurance policies. That is half 2 in our ZTNA weblog sequence for operational environments. Learn the primary weblog right here.

Proper now, someplace on the earth a robotic arm wants a firmware improve, a wind turbine is stalled, and a freeway message signal is displaying gibberish. If your corporation relies on operational expertise (OT) or industrial management programs (ICS), you’ll want to enable machine builders, upkeep contractors, or your individual specialists and technicians to remotely entry tools for configuration, troubleshooting, and updates.

Shrink the danger with ZTNA

In our final weblog we gave a ten,000-foot view of Cisco Safe Gear Entry (SEA) and the way it will help to safe distant entry to your industrial community. Cisco SEA is a Zero Belief Community Entry (ZTNA) resolution controlling who can join, which OT belongings they will entry, and when. It begins with a default deny posture and presents least-privilege entry solely as soon as it trusts the consumer identification.

Clientless and agent-based ZTNA

Along with limiting entry to particular belongings and schedules, Cisco SEA can even limit the entry technique distant technicians can use to log into an OT asset. If they’re utilizing RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, or HTTP(S), they solely want an internet browser—no consumer software program is required. Cisco SEA proxies all distant entry visitors, which means that customers by no means have direct IP entry to the asset or the community. Fully isolating essential sources provides you unmatched safety.

In some conditions, you would possibly want a full IP communication path between the distant consumer and an OT asset. Examples are if technicians are utilizing a vendor-specific administration software program, modifying a PLC program utilizing a local desktop software, or transferring recordsdata to and from an asset. To handle these superior use circumstances, Cisco SEA presents an agent-based ZTNA entry technique referred to as SEA Plus.

SEA Plus installs a light-weight software on the distant consumer’s laptop to create a safe end-to-end IP reference to the OT asset, enabling any TCP, UDP, and ICMP communications. Nonetheless, not like the community extension supplied by a VPN resolution, visitors at all times goes by way of the SEA belief dealer, which enforces safety insurance policies akin to which belongings will be accessed, when, and which protocols and ports can be utilized.

Total, SEA Plus offers native IP entry to operational expertise from distant computer systems, however with out the necessity to design, deploy, and keep a VPN infrastructure. It additionally strengthens and simplifies safety with extremely granular controls tightly limiting entry to OT belongings as required by the ZTNA least-privilege precept.

Take ZTNA to the following degree with automated security-posture checks

Management over the who, what, how, and when of distant entry is a big step towards strong safety of your industrial community and important infrastructure. However when utilizing SEA Plus, you’re granting full IP entry to an asset. How will you ensure the consumer’s laptop is not going to expose the asset to malware or malicious visitors? To realize full belief, you’ll want to confirm the machine the technician is utilizing to log in.

Excellent news: Cisco SEA and Cisco Duo work collectively to routinely test machine well being earlier than granting entry to an asset. When a distant consumer tries to determine a session utilizing the SEA Plus entry technique, Duo verifies that the consumer’s laptop complies along with your safety insurance policies—for instance, working system model and patch degree, firewall standing, use of antivirus software program, and extra. If a tool doesn’t meet your necessities, the technician can’t acquire entry.

Stronger safety with much less effort

Summing up: As a hybrid-cloud resolution, Cisco SEA avoids the prices and complexity to take care of safe distant entry capabilities at scale throughout your industrial community and important infrastructure. As a ZTNA resolution, it permits you to take management again by imposing least-privilege safety insurance policies based mostly on identification and context. And with the mixing between SEA and Duo, you can too test the safety posture of distant computer systems—one other key facet of zero belief.

Test again quickly for our subsequent ZTNA weblog, to learn the way Cisco Safe Gear Entry will help you monitor distant entry classes for regulatory compliance, investigating incidents, or coaching functions.

Within the meantime, ensure you subscribe to our OT Safety e-newsletter, study extra about Cisco Safe Gear Entry (SEA), and take a look at our Cisco Validated Design Information for help on tips on how to implement ZTNA in your operational atmosphere.


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