Reaping The Benefits Of Industrial Modernization Without Introducing Cyber Threats

Safely integrating IT/OT networks with Unidirectional Security Gateways

The rise of digitization in industrial control system (ICS) environments has brought about measurable benefits to enterprise; however these new technologies, connectivities, and workflows expose control systems to sophisticated cyber attacks. Critical infrastructure all over the world is thus becoming more and more exposed, and vulnerable, with industrial modernization. Security software and firewalls have proven insufficient in protecting control systems. Countless news stories recount attacks as firewalls and security software are breached. All software has bugs and some bugs are security vulnerabilities – presenting attack opportunities into industrial networks.

To improve industrial security in the oil and gas sector, and throughout critical infrastructures, security teams increasingly deploy Unidirectional Security Gateways between control and enterprise networks. Unidirectional Security Gateways are designed specifically for industrial environments, eliminating exposure to attacks originating from external networks – including the most modern, professional-grade, and targeted remote attacks. Just one layer of protection from Unidirectional Gateways, in a layered network architecture, breaks the path for infection.  It also stops remote control hijacking of critical industrial networks from enterprise networks exposed to the internet – for instance, the administrative office network.

Unidirectional Gateways enable real-time monitoring of industrial operations without ever permitting control signals of any sort to pass into industrial operations networks. Instead, the Unidirectional Gateways replicate real-time control system database servers, historian servers, and other servers for the corporate network – where IT users and sorftware applications query the databases and use the data. The gateway hardware physically permits information to flow from the industrial network to the IT network, but physically prevents any data, commands, messages or control signals from leaking back into the protected industrial network.


In the oil & gas industry, Unidirectional Security Gateways safely integrate operational networks with cloud platforms; and are routinely deployed in oil and gas operations including upstream, midstream, and downstream:

  1. Protecting offshore exploration and production facilities,
  2. Protecting oil & gas pipelines,
  3. Protecting refining & petrochemical manufacturing sites.

Unidirectional Gateways represent a mindset change for security practitioners. Unlike IT focused security technologies that concentrate on protecting data, Unidirectional Gateways are focused on protecting safe and reliable physical operations. That is, protecting important industrial control systems from misuse.

Waterfall Unidirectional Gateways are faithfully protecting industrial sites since 2007, and are deployed at thousands of mission-critical sites throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Protected industries include power plants, water utilities, rail networks, pipelines, refineries, and chemical plants. Hardware-enforced security, broad industrial application support, a field-proven technology, and a clear commitment to the industrial marketplace make Waterfall Security Solutions Unidirectional Security Gateways a natural fit for industrial control system protection world-wide.

Mike Firstenberg
Director of Industrial Security
Waterfall Security Solutions
Mobile: +1 609.304.5715

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