MACsec

Developed using the IEEE 802.1AE 2006, 2010 and 2016 standards for layer 2 security:

  • No loss of bandwith
  • Line speed encryption – low latency performance
  • Security against threats to industrial control systems
  • Secures against data packet sniffing exploits, data spoofing, and manipulation
  • Prevents man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Mature standards developed over 14 years
  • TCP/IP traffic cannot be sniffed and decoded
  • Built for extreme conditions and wide temprature ranges

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Use Case Scenarios

 

Railway OT & Communications System

In the Railway network, vulnerable infrastructure design is protected by making exposed daisy chains of trunking from one switch to another secure from wire hacking

  • As a lot of rail communications equipment is accessible at trackside and in remote locations, removing the threat of outside interference or being a compromise point with MACsec will add to any current implemented security being used.
  • As the increase of new technology improves the journey experience and information access gives passengers real time live feeds it also adds more soft entry points into the overall system that can be taken advantage of from malicious individuals or groups, MACsec helps mitigate some of these threats as it won’t allow data without the correct encryption to pass ensuring that subsystems are secured.

Oil and Gas Industry Operations Communication System

Communication from offshore rigs, FPSOs to onshore Smart Control rooms, often use dedicated microwave links as a preferred option due to its ease of deployment and cost benefits compared to laying dedicated fibre runs in some of the most complex areas. It is important to ensure the data sent over these links is encrypted with MACsec at layer 2 as this open air transmission medium is very easily listened in on by anyone in the vicinity. This addition allows for additional traffic to be passed across as knowing it is a secure link will ensure no data is compromised.

  • Deployed as an independent pair with 2 active channels multiple separate encryptions can be passed over a single link while keeping data security and integrity intact.
  • With the increase in availability and adoption of alternate solutions to offshore to onshore communications from traditional undersea fibre cables such as line of sight Wi-Fi or microwave solutions this also allows those with suitable knowledge to listen in if adequate security has not been installed.

Industrial Automation Applications

The conduits connecting zones in the Industrial automation networks can be securely protected against intrusion attacks using MACsec.

  • The modern cyber threat landscape includes many industrial applications as they know that when first deployed the threats didn’t exist, MACsec allows modern cyber security to be easily installed onto this critical infrastructure.
  • As Industry 4.0 gathers pace, with more and more companies looking to leverage the data stores of their manufacturing plants it is opening them up to the internet and all the issues it brings, MACsec can help reinforce secure segmentation on the factory floor.
  • Factory floors are seeing some of the fastest and biggest changes in network architecture and new product change while still retaining the old protocols and end devices, MACsec allows seamless integration and securing of old and new.
  • MACsec encryption being vendor agnostic ensures that any combination of vendor solution will work and is secured.

Remote site connection

As more companies are looking to expand their networks over multiple buildings they are using traditional WAN technologies to do this but as these are not typically designed with industrial applications in mind ensuring that sensitive application data that can be easily routed while still encrypted to ensure security has been a problem up to now. With the MACsec device data encryption can be done at the very edge device knowing that even if routing protocols such as OSPF are used between the final destination it will not be an issue.

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