Cyber Security Toolkit protects industrial infrastructure, “better than firewall” results

April 23, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Belden’s Tofino Enforcer Software Development Kit adds security to SCADA networks; it allows third parties to create next-generation cyber security solutions using the company’s patented Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology.

Tofino Enforcer modules developed with the SDK protect difficult-to-secure supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and industrial control system (ICS) protocols and improve the overall reliability and safety of industrial systems, Belden asserts.

The Tofino Enforcer SDK provides DPI technology to automation vendors and system integrators with software development expertise. Using the toolkit, developers can design custom loadable security modules (LSMs) for the wide variety of SCADA and ICS protocols currently in use.

Major automation vendors can secure their proprietary protocols with DPI technology, without having to disclose sensitive internal information. Companies can create a custom solution, controlling their own development cycle and the management of future updates. To add value for their customers, system integrators can create custom DPI modules to secure unusual SCADA protocols or devices. Instead of starting from scratch, they can take advantage of proven Tofino DPI firewall technology in any scenario or application.

The Tofino Enforcer technology provides superior security over what can be achieved with conventional firewall solutions by performing multi-level analysis and filtering of all SCADA messages. And unlike intrusion protection or detection (IPS/IDS) technologies, it offers very fast message forwarding for the time sensitive applications, such as power distribution or manufacturing.

The combination of in-depth content inspection with fast packet processing allows owners of control and SCADA systems to regulate network traffic to a level of detail that has never before been possible. For example, by using the Enforcer module for a particular SCADA protocol, engineers can block all attempts to write to a PLC or SCADA device, while still allowing data values to be rapidly accessed over the network. The result is improved network reliability, availability, and security for any SCADA, process control or safety system.

The Tofino Enforcer SDK provides a pre-configured toolkit with documentation that guides third-party developers through the process of quickly creating the security functionality needed. All stages of the development process are managed internally, with Belden’s