You are currently viewing OT 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 collection 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 what you are promoting is determined by operational expertise (OT) or industrial management programs (ICS), that you must enable machine builders, upkeep contractors, or your individual specialists and technicians to remotely entry tools for configuration, troubleshooting, and updates.

Shrink the chance with ZTNA

In our final weblog we gave a ten,000-foot view of Cisco Safe Gear Entry (SEA) and the way it may also 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 property they will entry, and when. It begins with a default deny posture and gives least-privilege entry solely as soon as it trusts the consumer identification.

Clientless and agent-based ZTNA

Along with limiting entry to particular property and schedules, Cisco SEA also can prohibit 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. Utterly 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 utility, or transferring information to and from an asset. To deal with these superior use instances, Cisco SEA gives an agent-based ZTNA entry technique known as SEA Plus.

SEA Plus installs a light-weight utility on the distant consumer’s pc to create a safe end-to-end IP reference to the OT asset, enabling any TCP, UDP, and ICMP communications. Nonetheless, in contrast to the community extension supplied by a VPN resolution, visitors all the time goes by means of the SEA belief dealer, which enforces safety insurance policies similar to which property might be accessed, when, and which protocols and ports can be utilized.

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

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

Management over the who, what, how, and when of distant entry is a huge step towards strong safety of your industrial community and demanding infrastructure. However when utilizing SEA Plus, you might be granting full IP entry to an asset. How will you make certain the consumer’s pc is not going to expose the asset to malware or malicious visitors? To realize full belief, that you must confirm the gadget the technician is utilizing to log in.

Excellent news: Cisco SEA and Cisco Duo work collectively to robotically test gadget 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 pc complies together with your safety insurance policies—for instance, working system model and patch stage, firewall standing, use of antivirus software program, and extra. If a tool doesn’t meet your necessities, the technician can not acquire entry.

Stronger safety with much less effort

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

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

Within the meantime, be sure 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 the best way to implement ZTNA in your operational atmosphere.


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