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Enhancing security in critical and industrial OT networks with tapping and aggregation solutions

Operational Technology (OT) encompasses the hardware and software systems vital for monitoring and controlling industrial processes like manufacturing, energy production, and transportation. These systems, often part of critical infrastructure, demand high levels of availability, reliability, and security. As OT networks evolve to become more interconnected, managing and securing them becomes increasingly complex. Traditionally, OT networks were separate from Information Technology (IT) networks. However, modern industrial environments have integrated them, creating new challenges for cybersecurity teams.

Overcoming Challenges of Implementing Network Monitoring in OT Environments

Network monitoring plays a crucial role in meeting security regulations, enabling the detection of security and operational anomalies. Implementing security solutions in OT environments is challenging, especially when adding security to existing infrastructures not originally designed with it in mind. Establishing a separate, robust network visibility infrastructure that doesn’t impact production traffic is fundamental for effective OT network monitoring. This infrastructure ensures that all necessary network traffic reaches security sensors and probes efficiently, reducing operational complexity and costs.

Benefits of a separate network visibility infrastructure

Complete Visibility/Elimination of Blind Spots: Cubro TAP devices provide full access to all network traffic, eliminating blind spots without relying on unreliable methods like OT switch mirroring. Network tapping offers comprehensive visibility into OT network traffic, enabling the detection of anomalous behaviour and potential security threats.

Easy Integration with Monitoring Tools: Network Packet Brokers seamlessly integrate with existing monitoring and security tools, such as IDS and SIEM platforms, ensuring optimal performance and protection of monitoring tool investments.

Real-time Monitoring: By capturing network traffic in real-time, network tapping enables proactive monitoring and swift threat detection, allowing security teams to respond before incidents escalate.

Granular Analysis: Network tapping facilitates detailed network traffic analysis at the protocol level, which is essential for understanding security threats and conducting forensic investigations.

Navigating OT Security with Cubro’s Solutions

Cubro Solutions for Base-T (Copper) OT Networks

Cubro offers a range of network visibility solutions for OT and IT networks, including Base-T Copper TAPs for 10/100/1000 networks. These TAPs ensure uninterrupted data transmission over standard copper network cables and are available in various chassis versions to suit different deployment needs.

Cubro FlexTAP chassis with up to 21 TAP modules

  • Hot expandable at any time without interruption
  • Fail-safe design
  • Smallest footprint – 21 links in one 19″ 3RU chassis
  • Best price and performance
  • Redundant & flexible power options (230AV and 48V DC)

Cubro EX5-3 Network Packet Broker

The EX5-3 Network Packet Broker provides high-density solutions with 48 native RJ45 copper ports covering 10M/100M and 1000M, along with 4 x 1/10G SFP+ interfaces. It’s ideal for scenarios where fiber-based tools require access to copper-based network infrastructure, offering granular filtering options and a user-friendly interface.

As industries embrace digital transformation, strengthening OT security monitoring capabilities is imperative. Network visibility, through technologies like network tapping and packet brokers, offers a powerful solution to enhance OT security. By leveraging these technologies, organizations can mitigate evolving threats, safeguard critical infrastructure, and ensure the resilience of industrial systems.

As a leading manufacturer and supplier of network visibility products, Cubro assists customers in effectively mastering OT monitoring challenges.

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