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Siemens partners Fortinet for substation cybersecurity solution

Image: Siemens.

Image: Siemens.

Siemens has partnered US-based cybersecurity firm Fortinet for the development of a security solution for operational technology (OT) networks, with one use to be at substations.

The engineering giant has joined the Fortinet Fabric-Ready Technology Alliance Partner Programme, designed to address the security challenges associated with the convergence of OT and IT networks.

The first solution from Siemens and Fortinet integrates the FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall with the Ruggedcom Multi-Service Platform family of switches and routers to improve the integration of cybersecurity into locations with harsh environments. This would include electrical substations, which have traditionally “not been easy” to deploy reliable connectivity and security to according to Fortinet.

The solution provides a single, integrated appliance for OT networks, resolving issues typically encountered outside of this model such as power, space, physical security and connectivity problems.

Remote management simplifies the deployment and ongoing management, Fortinet said. It is being billed as the first integrated solution combining technology and a worldwide resell agreement to address the “unique” security and connectivity requirements of OT networks.

It is also to be deployed in harsh and remote locations and will be available through the Fortinet Security Fabric, which provides an integrated and automated platform approach to security through purpose-built solutions and AI threat intelligence.

Alongside the solution, Siemens is to bring to market Fortinet’s Fortigate Next-Generation Firewall VM bundled with the Ruggedcom APE 1808 to enable the availability of advanced security solutions for OT environments.

John Maddison, EVP of products and CMO at Fortinet said the partnership facilitates the development and delivery of “truly comprehensive, end-to-end” security solutions that have been specifically designed for OT.

OT environments have traditionally been isolated from the rest of the IT network but the convergence of IT and OT has exposed OT and industrial control systems to increased cybersecurity risk, Fortinet said.

In September, innogy Investment Hub made an investment into Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity firm ShieldIOT.

Meanwhile, Siemens has been busy recently, announcing a major partnership with almost 100 mayor and local council leaders for the pursuit of a pipeline of clean energy projects worth over £100 billion.

In May, it revealed plans to spin off its gas and power division, combining it with the majority stake it owns in its renewables unit Siemens Gamesa to establish a “focused energy powerhouse”.


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