Beyond mere OT Secure Remote
Access (SRA), VPNs, and Firewalls
PrivX OT Edition is a secure access management solution integrated with IT/OT systems, providing secure access to modern and legacy OT targets in hybrid environments. Unlike many traditional Secure Remote Access tools, it manages the entire OT industrial remote access lifecycle.
The solution supports granular, least-privilege, and just-enough-access (JEA) models that are not available in VPNs/Firewalls, which grant too broad access to industrial ICS/OT targets.
OT/ICS access security for Industrie 4.0
System uptime is critical in IIoT/OT environments. This requires constant monitoring and management of the devices and systems within them.
With IT/OT convergence, site engineers, administrators, maintenance personnel, remote operators and consultants access industrial control systems (ICS) targets, including:
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
- Distributed Control Systems (DCS)
- Human-machine Interfaces (HMI)
- Remote Terminal Units (RTU)
PrivX OT Edition governs, identifies, authorizes, approves, audits, and monitors access to these resources in a secured and restricted manner. All while keeping your organization compliant with regulations.
Case study: Secure Remote Access (SRA) in the Forest Industry
Premise: The customer is a manufacturer of fiber products, wood products, molecular bioproducts, and low-emission energy for the forest industry. They have more than 50 sites in 12 countries around the globe.
Challenge: With their multiple production sites, the business needed a transparent remote access solution, so their trusted vendors can access the sites securely. The customer had several clear requirements, including the need for an efficient and reliable approval process for session requests, limitations to view other vendor options when requesting access, or capability for each site to manage their own access and approval processes.
Solution: The customer selected PrivX by SSH as their secure remote access solution. We at SSH worked very closely with the customer to achieve their objectives, including the development of new features not existing in the proposed solution.
Case study: Global IoT Device Provider Secures Maintenance Operations
Premise: Headquartered in Europe, the customer is a manufacturer of home appliances with a turnover of +10 B€, +50K employees and +35 factories worldwide. The company’s brand portfolio includes more than 10 well-known appliance brands.
The customer was looking for a secure access management solution that would radically reduce the risk of sharing a 'golden key' that grants access to all their IoT devices.
Challenge: The golden key was shared among all QA Engineers that connected to customer IoT devices to perform maintenance tasks. This was a serious security risk since often the identity of key users was unclear. The QA Admins were also constantly manually rotating and managing new golden keys.
Solution: With PrivX Privileged Access Management solution, the customer was able to ensure that their Quality Assurance Engineers would be able to maintain IoT devices as easily as before but without actually handling, sharing, or seeing keys anymore.
Moreover, all sessions are identified and tracked, the QA Engineers are assigned the right role for the task at hand on login and the golden key is used through a vault. The key is safe from misuse, accidental misconfigurations or ending up in the hands of bad actors looking to steal intellectual property (IPR). Moreover, QA Admins no longer need to replace and rotate keys all the time.
Case study: Secure Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) for Maintenance Engineers
Premise: The customer is a leading manufacturing company operating in the field of industrial equipment. As a part of their services, the business offers remote maintenance of their operational technology (OT) devices.
The customer is using multiple connection protocols (including SSH, RDP, and VNC) that were previously managed via a combination of VPN- and firewall-based security controls.
Challenge: The prior security controls lacked granularity and functionality that the customer needs to be able to provide their services easily and securely. The previous solution lacked transparency and proper auditing capabilities. There was a clear need for a lean and easy-to-use solution that would provide secure access between the cloud, customer facilities, and end-target devices.
Solution: The access to OT target devices is now done via the PrivX OT Edition solution, which is utilized as a part of the customer’s own service business. Maintenance engineers have access to over 30k devices in various customer environments in a fast and secure way. They are granted just enough access (JEA) in a just-in-time (JIT) fashion.
The PrivX OT solution provides the customer with a centralized management system that ensures increased, layered security. The system also provides improved verification capabilities to identify and authenticate users, without the end-users seeing any of the vaulted secrets. Additionally, the customer can audit and monitor maintenance-related sessions through optional sessions recording.
Use case: Secure OT Access for Third-Party Engineers in Power Plant
Premise: A global energy company operating dozens of electricity plants. Each plant has critical equipment (OT devices) from 3rd party vendors with service contracts. Access to OT devices is realized through an application gateway. The company needed a secure remote access solution to allow 3rd party vendor technicians to perform scheduled and on-demand maintenance.
Challenge: 3rd parties had visibility into the whole OT environment. No visibility into the use os shared credentials. Granting access took a long time and revoking access was cumbersome No session monitoring or audit trail.
Solution: Direct access to the application servers is restricted, and externals don't handle shared credentials. No one ever sees any access secrets. User IDs are verified by multi-factor authentication (MFA) and are visible with access sessions. Effective workflows for access requests and approvals. Time-boxed access for the OT target site; automatic revocation after the job is done. Always up-to-date list of OT targets based on user role (RBAC). Session recordings and auditing events for SIEM.
Use case: A Marine Vessel Operator Secures Remote Access and IoT Data Collection
Premise: With the help of IoT sensors, onboard computing, satellite communication, and cloud-based analytics, the customer aimed to enhance operational profitability. However, connectivity from the public cloud environment to mission-critical vessel systems came with risks.
Challenge: Limited transparency into the remote access without visibility into the sessions. The VPN connections to the ship networks were always on. Indiscriminate access to all areas once logged in to VPN service. Untracked and unidentified connections to ship subsystems. Shared accounts and manually managed access credentials.
Use case: Secure OT Remote Access for Third-Party Vendors in an Industrial Automation Environment
Premise: The customer is a global manufacturing company operating in dozens of factory sites in multiple regions. There are production-critical automation equipment on each site that needs to be accessed by multiple 3rd party vendors and in-house personnel.
RDP, SSH, and VNC connections were managed via Citrix and (programmable logic controller) PLC access is administered on the VPN and network level. The company needed modern centralized solution for all access protocols as well as role-based approval process tool.
Challenge: The previous solution lacked transparency and a proper audit trail for sessions and tasks performed on the device. No visibility into the use of shared credentials. The VPN solution did not provide needed granularity to be secure.
Why the Manufacturing Industry Should Get Serious About Zero Trust and Just-in-Time Access
IT/OT convergence is shaking up the utility, transportation, energy, and manufacturing industries. Learn why secure remote access is at the center of this transformation and how companies can protect their critical operations.
White Paper: Secure Access Management for Operational Technology (OT) and Critical Infrastructure
Learn why OT and IIoT need to transcend VPNs, firewalls, and various remote access tools to stay safe from threats and risks. Get our white paper to learn more.