Industrial security gets a Linux lock

Wednesday, 11 June 2003, 2:22 PM EST

The product, dubbed Industrial Defender, aims to close holes in the security surrounding control systems used by utility companies, manufacturers and other industries. Verano announced the first piece, a network monitoring appliance and service, on Tuesday.

Moreover, unlike Honeywell, Siemens and many other companies in the industrial application market, Verano doesn't build its products on top of a special version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, but on a security-enhanced Linux (SELinux) system. Originally created by the U.S. government's military security agency, the National Security Administration (NSA), SELinux adds advanced security technology to further lock down the Linux operating system.

"Most of today's (control) systems were installed in the '80s and '90s, and weren't designed with security in mind," said Brian Ahern, CEO of the Mansfield, Mass.-based control-system management and security company. Ahern cited penetration tests by Verano's partners that indicate the network security around industrial control systems can be breached in as many as 90 percent of cases.

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