From Nuclear Reactors to Banks: A Multi-Arm Platform to Protect Critical Infrastructure

With a defined vision to protect critical infrastructure, OPSWAT has built an extensive, multi-arm platform that includes 21 different products tailored to complex networks. Benny Czarny, Founder and CEO of OPSWAT, explains why traditional cyber security tools are not optimized to protect critical infrastructure and presents the solutions the company has developed for over 1,500 customers from various industries in more than 80 countries.

Assaf Levanon, In collaboration with OPSWAT
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Assaf Levanon, In collaboration with OPSWAT
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What do the defense, emergency, chemical, dams, energy, water, transportation, agriculture, finance, and healthcare industries have in common? These all fall under the definition of "critical infrastructure". These infrastructures are supposed to be the most secure and protected from any possible malfunction or hacking. But this isn’t always the case. We recently heard about a ransomware attack that temporarily shut down a large hospital in Israel. Other security breaches causing power or water outages are the result of a cyberattack. When it comes to Israel, the situation is sometimes even worse than in the rest of the world – both on the level of insufficient security and in the government's lack of sanctions against critical infrastructure entities that do not secure themselves properly. In the United States, fines for such are customary acts. However, in Israel, this sanction does not exist.

Benny CzarnyCredit: OPSWAT

So, if the critical infrastructures are, as their name implies, indeed so critical – how is it possible that they are not sufficiently protected? Benny Czarny, Founder and CEO of OPSWAT, believes that the problem is due to several reasons. "Over the course of some 20 years in which our 600 employees have been dealing with the issue and researching it in 21 countries, we have realized that one of the fundamental challenges is the complexity of critical infrastructure networks. This is not a corporate network, which can be secured with a generic security product. In addition, these networks combine systems, some of which are connected and some of which are disconnected from the Internet, and with many devices. These can be employees' mobile devices that connect to the network, or a laptop that was taken home, as well as sophisticated work devices such as robots, PLC, and IT equipment. Many of these speak in protocols that the cyber industry barely knows."

But at the same time there are also countless cybersecurity tools on the market...
"And these are not adapted to protect critical infrastructure. Various antivirus products have a low level of accuracy in static file checks, even if they use machine learning. In addition, when you disconnect them from the Internet, their accuracy decreases even more. Sandbox is often an inefficient and slow tool, which does not exist for OT networks. There are also no technologies on the market that ensure compliance with standards - an important issue for regulated entities - and in the field of critical infrastructure, this is mostly the case."

Patented Technologies That Have Become a Security Standard
OPSWAT, the global leader in critical infrastructure protection (CIP) cybersecurity solutions, built a platform, dedicated technologies, and a training program. The extensive multi-arm platform includes 21 different products, which interface with different parts of the critical network. The platform takes care of protection needs such as: entering and exiting files when they are clean, inserting and removing computing facilities from the network, compliance with regulatory requirements and more. All this in easy-to-operate interfaces, emphasizing design, compliance and usability that are suitable for IT and OT operators.

The dedicated technologies adapted to the security of critical infrastructures include, for example, the Deep CDR technology, which does not assume the innocence of any file. Every file that enters the system is disarmed and reconstructed without the risk of harmful additions, such as macros or malicious code. After governments and militaries around the world failed to break through it, they adopted the product and used it in their critical infrastructure systems.

OPSWAT also offers fast OT sandboxing technology for OT networks that performs analysis on OT infrastructures, such as PLCs, before installing and implementing them in the network. The company's multi-scanning technology performs multi-engine scanning, which enables the detection of harmful means in isolated networks. "These are technologies like no other in the industry," says Czarny. "A lot of companies develop security products, but most of them do one or two products and underestimate the importance of building a proper and effective technological base for critical infrastructure. OPSWAT has a complete platform that is a complete solution, allowing you to secure everything you need, while meeting the compliance required by regulation. Our partners, who assist us in the sales efforts, and the customers themselves, all testify that the platform makes it unnecessary to buy one product from here and another product from there and then try to implement them together. We are the one-stop-shop for protecting critical infrastructure."

Protecting the Entire Supply Chain
These precedent-setting capabilities have led the company to serve over 1,500 customers from various fields of critical infrastructure in many countries around the world - from automotive ito financial industries, government and defense, to energy and nuclear. In fact, 98% of U.S. nuclear power facilities trust OPSWAT for cybersecurity and compliance.

Such a client is Alon, a manager in a leading critical infrastructure company in its field. The company understands the importance of protecting its production and development and the need to protect its assets and business secrets. This realization led her to use a wide portfolio of OPSWAT products. "MetaDefender Drive protects our entire supply chain, scans anything that comes from outside, and secures infrastructure and assets," says Alon. "MetaDefenderEmail Security keeps us on the corporate email; MetaDefender Kiosk protects the assembly line by scanning all files; The Deep CDR file flattening system gives us the opportunity to rebuild the files and remove the things that could put the organization at risk, ensuring clean and safe code. Above all, the orchestra is conducted by the MetaDefender Core, which is at the heart of the entire system. It controls everything and is where all the rules of the company's policy come and go."

Alon says that the reasons for choosing OPSWAT products are that they are particularly accurate in the level of risk identification, ease of implementation and integration, and the excellent customer service provided by the company. "Good service cannot be underestimated, “Alon states. "OPSWAT gives us confidence. There's no doubt it's because of their healthy corporate culture and customer focus. The OPSWAT Academy also gives us valuable knowledge and training."

Educating the Market
The OPSWAT Academy, mentioned by Alon, is an initiative developed by the company to educate the market. "There are currently 423 cyber trainings and certificates in the world. It's crazy," declares Czarny. "However, none of them concentrate on teaching and training for the critical infrastructure sectors. So, we decided to pick up the gauntlet and be the first in the world of training for the field. Thousands of satisfied customers have already learned critical infrastructure protection at OPSWAT Academy – with most of the learning provided for free and regardless of the company's products. A basic course takes an hour and the complete course lasts two weeks. The result is good tools that make it possible to understand how the network is built, what its challenges are, and how they can be met at the cyber level. We are constantly adding content to academia and even working with universities on the subject.”

"Another way we educate the market is critical infrastructure labs. At our headquarters in Florida we opened a stationary lab where customers can go and experience cyber-attacks. We also have lab in Vietnam and Israel. Recently, we launched a mobile lab called the Cyber Trailer. It reaches critical infrastructure in the U.S. and, with the help of a demonstration, shows how malware can harm critical infrastructure organizations."

"A lot of companies develop security products, but most of them make one or two products. OPSWAT has a platform that is a complete solution, allowing you to secure everything you need, while meeting the compliance required by regulation."

In collaboration with OPSWAT