21-23 Aug 2024
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Unplugging USB Cyber Threats

Jun 30, 2017

Those little connectors can cause big cyber security trouble at industrial plants. Honeywell has risen to this challenge by introducing the Secure Media Exchange to prevent USB cyber-threats from occurring.

Malware has taken power plants offline due to the spreads through USBs, short for Universal Serial Bus. According to BSI publications, USBs were the second leading threat risks to industrial control systems in 2016.

To help protect against these threats Honeywell has introduced the Secure Media Exchange which provides simple, multi-layered protection by letting users check their devices. For example, they can check in a USB by plugging it into an SMX Intelligence Gateway to analyse and secure the entire drive or specific files.

The SMX software is installed on a plant’s Windows systems, from there it can control which USB devices are allowed to connect. This software essentially stops unverified files from being accessed. SMX also keeps a log of USB connectivity and files access, providing essential auditing capabilities in the event of a security breach.

Many industrial plants ban USBs

The simplicity and ubiquity of USBs make them one of the most difficult tools to manage, particularly at industrial sites. Currently, many plants either ban USBs, which is hard to enforce and can reduce productivity or they rely on difficult to maintain traditional malware scanning solutions. These options don’t protect process control networks against the latest threats, nor do they offer any way to handle targeted attacks.

Honeywell has one of the largest industrial cyber security research capabilities in the process industry, including a dedicated cybersecurity lab near Atlanta and we partner with companies such as Microsoft, Intel Security and Palo Alto Networks to develop new, effective industrial threat detection techniques.

Story credit: Honeywell 

Source: https://www.honeywell.com/newsroom/news/2017/05/unplugging-usb-cyber-threats

Honeywell (HBT) is a leader in the Internet of Things (IoT) and creates products, software, and technologies found in millions of homes and buildings worldwide. We help homeowners, Commercial building owners and occupants stay connected and in control of their comfort, security, and energy use.

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