Honeywell and Intel team up to secure critical infrastructure

First offerings include Application Whitelisting, Enterprise Security Manager and Next Generation Firewall.

By Paul Studebaker, editor in chief, Control

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The growing threat of cyber attacks against industrial targets is a major global concern, according to a global survey on cybersecurity conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in September 2014 on behalf of Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS). Two-thirds of those surveyed thought that the oil and gas, chemicals and power industries were particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks.

At the 2015 Honeywell User Group (HUG) Americas symposium in San Antonio, Texas, HPS and Intel Security announced they will collaborate to help bolster protection of critical industrial infrastructure and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Intel Security’s McAfee technologies will be integrated with Honeywell’s Industrial Cyber Security Solutions, providing Honeywell customers with enhanced security software to protect their control systems from malware and misuse.

The HPS Industrial Cyber Security Solutions group has a dedicated global team of industrial cybersecurity experts who provide products, services and technologies to help protect industrial automation and control systems against cyber threats. The collaboration between Intel Security and HPS is to combine the latest advances in cybersecurity technology with Honeywell’s industrial process domain knowledge to provide tailored security solutions for the industrial environment.

“The threat of cyber attacks on industrial and critical infrastructure targets is growing rapidly, and our customers are demanding effective cybersecurity to assist them in protecting their assets and people. Working with Intel Security expands our capabilities to enhance the availability, reliability and safety of customers’ industrial control systems and plant operations,” said Jeff Zindel, global business leader, HPS Industrial Cyber Security Solutions group. “Our collaboration with Intel Security will enable integrated, validated solutions for our industrial process customers to more rapidly deploy and better protect their investment. This approach is critical to enable the productivity potential of Honeywell automation solutions and the Industrial Internet of Things.”

Initially, Honeywell will qualify Intel Security’s Application Whitelisting and Device Control with its own proprietary cybersecurity for its Experion Process Knowledge System, providing a fully vetted and qualified solution designed to increase security without sacrificing reliability. Honeywell is also offering Intel Security’s Enterprise Security Manager (ESM) and Next Generation Firewall to its customers. The products will be supported by Honeywell’s Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager, which provides a continuous evaluation of cybersecurity risks within industrial environments. McAfee Application Whitelisting maintains system integrity by allowing only authorized code to run. McAfee Device Control allows users to specify and categorize what data can and cannot be transferred to various plug-in devices. The Honeywell qualification of Intel Security’s Application Whitelisting and Device Control is a tangible result of this strategic relationship.

“As Intel, we’ve taken a journey over the past 12 years to protect industrial facilities," said David Hatchell, director, critical infrastructure, Intel Security. "Our IT/OT infrastructure—network segmentation, firewalls, ESM—have all been customized to the industrial space. But it’s not enough to just hand a product to Honeywell. We have to work together with the control engineers. Application Whitelisting and Device Control is the first result of that collaboration.”

The benefits from the integration include:

    • Tested, proven and validated protection for the Experion Process Knowledge System from known and unknown malware threats;
    • Consistent protection for both connected and air-gapped systems with no additional need for signature updates;
    • Change policy enforcement so that system changes are made according to authorized policy and process;
    • Integrated management and analysis of cyber security risk using Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Risk Manager;
    • Appropriate for isolated systems within industrial control systems, this solution is designed to work without having access to the Internet or any other network.

“The systems we rely on each and every day to get clean water at our taps and keep the lights on require secure solutions. Protecting our critical infrastructure and the emerging IIoT from cyber threats is a priority, and the collaboration of two industry leaders will go a long way toward that goal,” said Raj Samani, vice president and chief technology officer, Intel Security. “Technologies in the IIoT space have a tremendous amount of potential, and we can’t let security concerns undermine that; instead, security has to enable the growth of IIoT, and that’s what our engagement with Honeywell will do.”