Honeywell debuts security for USB devices

Apr 10, 2017

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) introduced April 4 its new Secure Media Exchange (SMX) solution for protecting industrial sites against USB-borne threats without the need for complex procedures or restrictions that impact operations or staff.

“Industrial operators often have hundreds or thousands of employees and dozens of contractors on site every day,” says Eric Knapp, chief cybersecurity engineer at HPS. “Many, if not most, of them rely on USB-removable media to get their jobs done. Plants need solutions that let people work efficiently, but also don’t compromise cybersecurity and industrial safety.”

Currently, many plants ban USBs, which is difficult to enforce and reduces productivity, or rely on IT malware scanning solutions, which are difficult to maintain in an industrial control facility and provide limited protection. These solutions fail to protect process control networks against the latest threats, and offer no means to address targeted or zero-day attacks.

Honeywell’s SMX was developed by the company’s cybersecurity experts based on field experience across global industrial sites and feedback from Honeywell User Group customers. It provides hassle-free, multi-layered protection for managing USB security, letting users simply plug in and check devices for approved use in the facility. Contractors “check-in” their USB drive by plugging it into an SMX Intelligence Gateway. The ruggedized industrial device analyzes files using techniques included with Honeywell’s Advanced Threat Intelligence Exchange (ATIX), a secure, hybrid-cloud threat analysis service.