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Palo Alto Networks partners with Siemens to protect critical infrastructure

By Catherine Knowles, Fri 5 Nov 2021

Palo Alto Networks has extended its technology partnership with Siemens. The pair intend to enhance the security of mission-critical networks and prevent the threat of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.

According to a statement, the companies will integrate Palo Alto Networks VM-Series Virtual Next-Generation Firewalls and Siemens Ruggedcom Multi-Service Platforms to enable continuous scalable hardware.

This will allow customers to extend consistent security policy and visibility across IT, critical OT and industrial control systems (ICS) infrastructure, the company states.

Palo Alto Networks senior vice president of network security, Anand Oswal, commented on the current critical infrastructure landscape and the driver behind the partnership.

Oswal says, "Critical infrastructure, such as smart utility substations, intelligent transportation systems, traffic signalling and private broadband gateways in remote locations, is incredibly challenging to secure because the systems are highly distributed, complex and often in very harsh environments.

"But securing these systems is paramount as they make for high-profile targets for cyber attacks, with impacts that go beyond economic consequences."

He says, "By bringing together our Next-Generation Firewall technology with Siemens experience in industrial control systems and unique environments, companies can protect their industrial control systems and other key infrastructure without compromising security, performance, or the ability to scale."

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series virtual firewalls offer high grade security and can be deployed in any virtual or cloud environment. They are also highly scalable.

VM-Series virtual firewalls are designed to secure all traffic, including encrypted traffic based on the complete context that includes user identity, application identity and device identity, and stop modern cyber threats using natively integrated security services.

Centralised management enables users to extend protection and security to industrial systems wherever Siemens Ruggedcom RX1500 Multi-Service Platform is deployed.

The Ruggedcom APE1808 for the Ruggedcom RX1500 Multi-Service Platform is a compact industrial application-hosting platform for third-party applications. It enables industrial customers to protect HMI, engineering workstations and field devices located in harsh environmental regions.

The ML-powered VM-Series virtual firewalls serve as a perimeter gateway in these scenarios and use segmentation and policies that allow operators to control applications communicating across different subnets to block lateral threat movement and achieve regulatory compliance.

In other scenarios, the Ruggedcom RX1500 with the APE1808 can be deployed to provide application-level monitoring for control centres running SCADA systems.

Siemens Ruggedcom general manager Jeremy Bryant says, "Our network components from Ruggedcom have been the mainstay of critical infrastructure networks in harsh environments, which has helped us build a deep understanding of their unique challenges and requirements.

"By adding Palo Alto Networks VM-Series firewalls to our platform approach, we are further enhancing our cybersecurity solutions portfolio.

"This integrated hardware and software solution offers our customers a field-proven way of securing even the legacy devices in their network, achieving regulatory compliance and improved security posture for mission-critical applications."

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