Pulse Secure expands its zero trust security offering to IoT

Pulse Secure version 9.0R3 helps customers secure IIoT and streamline maintenance activities

Research shows 82% of companies reported unplanned downtime in the past three years, which can cost a company as much as $260,000 an hour.
Research shows 82% of companies reported unplanned downtime in the past three years, which can cost a company as much as $260,000 an hour.

Pulse Secure is extending its Zero Trust Security model to IIoT devices and smart factories.

With the release of the release of Pulse Policy Secure (PPS) 9.0R3, the provider of secure access solutions to enterprises and service providers wants to help factories streamline machinery repairs and diminish costly production downtime through IT-managed secure access. The new solution also secures networks by expanding its behavioural analytics to IoT devices, detecting anomalies and preventing their compromise.

“Manufacturing customers are using IoT to retool their factory floors, creating smart production lines that report their health and operational efficiency. One benefit of this approach is that customers can proactively perform preventative or predictive maintenance on machines to avoid costly production outages,” said Prakash Mana, Pulse Secure’s vice president of product management. “Our latest Pulse Secure release helps customers not only secure the smart factory floor, but it also helps streamline their maintenance activities by giving service technicians remote access to the equipment they maintain. Regardless if they are on the factory floor or in their remote office, our Zero Trust Security limits technician access to the equipment they maintain and requires that they use secured end-user devices to perform their work.”

Part of part of Pulse Secure’s combined VPN and NAC solution, Pulse Policy Secure (PPS) dynamically profiles the network to discover, classify and apply policy to IoT devices, and includes a built-in IoT device identification library.  The solution also integrates with Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) solutions to provide identity and device security state data, as well as to fortify micro-segmentation to isolate and manage IoT devices on enterprises networks.

PPS 9.0 extends the Zero Trust Security model to IIoT devices used in smart factories and buildings, with blended IT and OT environments. It automatically discovers and profiles IIoT systems, such as factory floor SCADAs, PLCs and HMIs, or office building HVAC systems, providing dynamic visibility and securing them by enforcing policies for local and remote access by authorised users and contractors. PPS 9.0 also automatically provisions IIoT devices to next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) to facilitate remote access without provisioning overhead.

 The latest release of PPS also provides behavioural analytics that alert security teams of anomalous IoT device behaviour and automatically requires added factors of authentication. PPS 9.0 builds baseline behaviour profiles for managed and unmanaged IoT devices utilising information correlated from multiple sources such as NetFlow, user and device data. With these profiles, the platform detects anomalous activity, malware infections and domain generation attacks, allowing security teams to be more responsive to threats and take pre-emptive measures before attacks succeed.

The new PPS 9.0 IoT support also provides relief for the frequent and costly issue of factory floor equipment outages. Aberdeen recently reported that 82% of companies reported unplanned downtime in the past three years, which can cost a company as much as $260,000 an hour.

The resulting downtime breaks production and lowers profit, because factory floor repairs often take days when security requirements mandate that service technicians physically visit the factory to diagnose and repair the problem.

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