enterprisesecuritymag

Waterfall Security Solutions: Safeguarding Critical Infrastructures

Lior Frenkel, Co-founder and CEO, Waterfall Security SolutionsLior Frenkel, Co-founder and CEO
Even with the advancement of cybersecurity technologies, malware and botnets find ways to penetrate enterprise networks. This issue further escalates in the case of critical infrastructures like rail systems, power plants, manufacturing sites, and other industrial facilities, highlighting the need for robust cybersecurity systems.

Deploying a firewall in these environments is not going to cut it, as they were never designed to protect such infrastructures from cyberattacks on their physical machinery. Bridging this gap between innovative digital security solutions and critical, industrial infrastructures, Waterfall Security Solutions has developed an evolutionary alternative to firewalls—a unidirectional security gateway that enables safe and reliable data sharing, cloud services, and all the required connectivity for industrial control systems and critical infrastructures.

With longtime experience and expertise in industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity, Waterfall understood that proactive prevention of cyberattacks is paramount in today’s ever-increasing incidents of cyberattacks. This knowledge led to the company’s development of Unidirectional Security Gateways, which restrict data flow from any external sources to the secured operations network. The system only allows one-way data transfer from the operations network to the required destination server. This unique approach effectively secures the network from all online cyberattacks attempting to penetrate via the unidirectional gateway.

“The Gateway solution creates a waterfall for digital information, in which the data flows only in a single direction—downstream,” explains Lior Frenkel, co-founder and CEO of Waterfall Security Solutions. Furthermore, unlike firewalls that may fail to secure the network due to misconfiguration and known or hidden vulnerabilities, Waterfall’s unidirectional gateways do not base their protection on software and are immune from misconfiguration or bugs which can reduce or circumvent their security level.
Offering unparalleled security and seamless operational efficiency, Waterfall’s built-in software agent collects real-time data from servers inside a protected infrastructure network. The application then uses the data to create a replica of the servers for external networks to view and validate the systems. This is done in real-time ‘over’ the unidirectional gateway.

Put Integration First

Waterfall provides out-of-the-box integration capabilities for a multitude of industrial applications such as control system servers, Open Platform Communication servers, databases, as well as low-level devices and controllers. Particularly, for critical infrastructures that operate under various regulations, Waterfall’s solution dramatically reduces the complexity of ensuring regulatory compliance with NERC CIP, NRC, NIST, CFATS, and ANSSI.

The Solution in Action: Detroit Water and Sewerage Department

In one instance, Waterfall assisted Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to enhance their security between operations and business networks. DWSD carried out a security risk assessment of their setup, which revealed that their utility business network was unacceptably insecure. To address these concerns, DWSD replaced their existing firewall systems with Waterfall’s Unidirectional Security Gateways that replicated an OSIsoft PI Historian from the operations network to the business network. In addition, the system replicated a file server, allowing data to be pushed from the process control network to the business network, where it can be shared or analyzed. The Unidirectional Security Gateways provided absolute security from cyberattacks, while offering DWSD cost-savings and performance-improving, real-time data integration.

Waterfall has a large and growing customer base worldwide, including national infrastructures and power stations, refineries, manufacturing plants, and utility companies throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle-East.

With more than 20 years of hardware and software research and development experience, Frenkel leads Waterfall in further expanding their reach across Asia and Europe. The firm is investing in advanced technology to provide cutting-edge security solutions for the needs of industrial sites from all sorts and types. “We also just released an innovative solution based on Unidirectional Gateway technology for industrial cloud services to support the evolving IoT technologies for critical infrastructures and the energy industry,” concludes Frankel.