Thursday, May 17, 2012

Certes Networks bids to plug industrial controller holes with CEP5

Network encryption firm Certes is to extend its security platform with devices designed for branch offices and remote locations.

The company said that its CEP5 appliances would allow firms to extend the Certes Enforcement Point (CEP) platform to branch offices by adding a small, inexpensive appliance to perform encryption operations and apply security policies.

In addition to small branch offices with very few users, the 5Mbit/s appliances are aimed at remote facilities such as ATMs and kiosks. The device has been packaged in a weather-proof casing for outdoor use.
Where the company sees the CEP5 making the biggest impact, however, is with network connected appliances and embedded systems.

Chief marketing officer Jim Doherty told V3 that in utility firms represented a significant portion of the market for the new appliance.

"The smart grid is not just an energy distribution system, it is going to be an enormous communications system that is going to rival the internet when it is fully rolled out," Doherty said.

"There is going to be a lot of communication going on and that is going to need to be secured."
Security for utilities has become a hot topic in recent years. As utility firms and local governments add network connectivity to their systems, appliances such as SCADA controllers have become popular targets for attackers.

Certes believes that the CEP5 can provide a solution to the security hole by not only securing communications between industrial controllers and administrators, but also preventing outside attackers from interacting with machines by requiring the use of encrypted commands.

"In the utilities industry they are much more concerned about the authenticity of the data," Doherty explained.

"They are not as concerned about people stealing the data as they are worried about people getting on the network and injecting those bogus commands."

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