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Remote Access in a post-Covid-19 Industrial Automation World

  • Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT (2021-05-20 19:30:00 UTC)
  • Mike Firstenberg


  • Waterfall Security

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Covid-19 has changed everything about our society and our world. How we work is no exception. Where relative distance may once have suggested the application of remote access, the term social distance made it a requirement. In these challenging times of quarantines and travel restrictions, remote access has become vitally important to industrial sites. Legacy remote access systems, such as VPNs, jump hosts and two-factor authentications systems, are problematic however, because they introduce unacceptable risks to physical operations. In this webinar, we review common attack patterns for these software-only technologies. We then compare these legacy technologies to modern, unidirectional remote access systems. That unidirectional gateway technology can support remote access at all is a surprise to many practitioners, even more so that there are many different kinds of such remote access systems in widespread use. We will explore how the world\'s most secure industrial enterprises use modern, hardware-enforced unidirectional solutions for remote access to their industrial operations.

Adding to the complexity, in the middle of the pandemic, we hear from the leaders of multiple nations that there is a constant assault of cyber-attacks on the countrys critical infrastructure. The need for isolation of our systems is implied in this messaging. There are many lessons we can learn from these experiences that can be applied to our critical infrastructure and industrial automation. Join Mike Firstenberg to explore the technical, political, and business impacts of remote access along with modern strategies to balance the business need for remote access with the risk management need to protect our people, processes, and equipment. 

Speaker Bio

Mike Firstenberg

Mike Firstenberg is the Director of Industrial Security for Waterfall Security. Mike brings two decades of experience in Process Control Security, specializing in Control System Cyber Security. With a proven track record as a hands-on engineer - researching, designing, and implementing strategic security solutions, Mike has an established background working with government institutions, regulatory authorities, and industrial utilities. The former chair of the American Water SCADA Council, Mike studied Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, and Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as a speaker and panelist at numerous conferences and events around the world. Mike participates actively in ISA and serves on committees that have created Industrial Cybersecurity guidelines and roadmaps in many sectors.

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