Security routers by Phoenix Contact make OT networks secure

  • Articles
  • Oct 31,23
Phoenix contact develops mGuard series especially for the needs of OT managers which ensures that machines can be easily integrated into a production network without changing the network.
Security routers by Phoenix Contact make OT networks secure

In the course of Digital Factory, Industry 4.0 and IIoT, production plants are increasingly being networked. It must therefore be possible to integrate individual machine and plant systems into a production network. This also applies to existing machines and systems.

Existing networks, that are those of the machines and plants, but also those of the factory itself, must not be changed for this purpose. In addition, disturbances and high data loads must not spread uncontrollably in the network and influence the functionality of the individual systems. At the same time, however, as networking increases, so do the requirements for protecting the networks from unauthorized or undesired communication access.

However, the acceptance of security products in production is not always given. Although the need for security in production networks is undisputed, firewall functions in OT networks are often not used or desired. This is because many firewalls have complex IT security functions, which are also usually cost-intensive and can only be configured by IT specialists. This often deters OT managers. After all, ongoing production is more important to them than security - which at first seems to have no functional benefit - until something happens.

Thus, on the one hand, a NAT router is required for the integration of machines and systems in superimposed networks and, on the other hand, a firewall that controls the data traffic in the network. The combination of both functions in one device provides a simple and cost-effective way for our customers to meet both requirements.

The mGuard series from Phoenix contact was developed especially for the needs of OT managers.  A clear, comprehensible range of functions and a particularly simple configuration of the security functions at a low price are intended to reduce the acceptance hurdles for OT managers. Production plants are increasingly networked. Therefore, machine and plant manufacturers, but also operators, have to adapt their machines and systems so that they can be operated in a common network. But what if neither the machine nor the production network can be changed? Should possible disturbances or manipulations of the machine be excluded, and the communication controlled and filtered? The mGuard series was developed specifically for this purpose.

The mGuard series ensures that machines can be easily integrated into a production network without changing the network, while at the same time being optimally protected. Its special feature is the integrated mGuard security technology, which controls communication and protects the machine network. The NAT firewall even automatically creates the necessary firewall rules based on a reference communication. 

With their increased data throughput of almost 1,000 Mbps, the security routers provide a higher level of security without any restrictions on data traffic.

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