Very few things in this world move at the pace of technology. Today’s internet infrastructure offers a tremendous value proposition to those implementing an automated monitoring and control solution to a new oil and gas production site. Tempering this value proposition, however, is the exposure of both wired and wireless infrastructure to internal and external security compromise. If one plans to stay ahead of the curve, one must consider an adaptive, yet proven, approach when providing end-to-end security to a customer’s valuable assets.
One conundrum in this endeavor: as technology becomes more advanced, it becomes less secure, as algorithms praised for their worthiness one day are quite literally cast aside for their flaws the next.
So what then become the most important CTQs when evaluating a security strategy or implementation?
– Limited exposure, the most secure deployment is one which has no inputs; expose as little as possible.
– Proven technology, implementing one’s own cipher suite is far better left to others with less to lose.
– Adaptive technology, new vulnerabilities are exploited daily; one’s mitigation response must be swift.
– Digital Certificate Authorities, encrypt all traffic, guarantee authenticity.
– Diligent evaluation, track field asset access and identify potential compromise; be prepared to act.
The OleumTech Solution
RF End Nodes – The most secure deployment is one which has no inputs. All OleumTech RF endpoints push information from sensor to gateway on their own user-configured time interval thereby severely reducing over-the-air exposure to Software Defined Radio (SDR) hackers. While they wait for their transmit interval to expire, OleumTech RF endpoints maintain a powered down state serving two purposes: the conservation of battery life, and the elimination of remote RF network access through a routing node.
OleumTech RF endpoints contain no method for IP routing as they access point-to-multipoint APIs for their data transmission. All RF data may be encrypted using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), Publication 197 certified algorithms.
IP Routable Gateways – OleumTech IP routable gateways may only be configured via BreeZ ® v5.x Configuration Software. This software is only available via the OleumTech website and is digitally signed by an authorized certificate signing authority.
Additionally, all OleumTech IP routable gateways ship with SSH disabled further limiting exposure to an unauthorized modification of a gateways’ configuration and or root file system.
PROVEN & ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY
OleumTech IP routable gateways depend upon the OpenSSL Project for the latest in network security algorithms. “The OpenSSL Project is a collaborative effort to develop a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured, and Open Source toolkit implementing the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocols as well as a full-strength general purpose cryptography library. The project is managed by a worldwide community of volunteers that use the Internet to communicate, plan, and develop the OpenSSL toolkit and its related documentation.” (OpenSSL Foundation, Inc.)
OleumTech IP routable gateways provide a self-signed encryption scheme that employs the most up to date cipher suite available. BreeZ® v5.x takes advantage of SSL/TLS 1.2 Next Generation Encryption (NGE) algorithms identified in the Network Working Group, RFC 5289, TLS Elliptic Curve Cipher Suites with SHA-256/384 and AES Galois Counter Mode (GCM) for end-to-end encryption and authentication. “The algorithms that comprise NGE are the result of more than 30 years of global advancement and evolution in cryptography. Each constituent component of NGE has its own history, depicting the diverse history of the NGE algorithms as well as their long-standing academic and community review.” (Cisco Systems , 2014)
For Web Server access, OleumTech maintains strict control over browser available cipher suites through the monitoring of new cyber threats associated with a given cipher suite.
DIGITAL SIGNING AUTHORITIES
“Digital certificates are used by software developers to digitally sign a program to prove that it has not been altered or compromised by a third party. While software purchased from a retail store is typically considered to be relatively safe, programs downloaded from the Internet are often treated with suspicion because of the widespread proliferation of viruses and malware.” (DigiCert, Inc)
All of the latest software and firmware packages available for download via OleumTechs’ support center (support.oleumtech.com) are digitally signed by its trusted Certificate Authority.
OleumTech currently uses Qualys, Vulnerability Scan (www.qualys.com) to stay current with newly identified security threats. Once a threat is identified, OleumTech then weighs the security risk vs. browser compatibility to provide a suitable course of action. Wherever possible, OleumTech will simply remove the compromised suite from the list of acceptable ciphers.
In addition to vulnerability scans, OleumTech is alerted, via email, to the latest security threats from both its SSL Certificate Authority (DigiCert ®, Inc.) and the OpenSSL Foundation, Inc. allowing OleumTech to stay ahead of the curve.