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Pulse Secure Expands Zero Trust Security for IoT with Firewall Auto-provisioning and Behavioural Analytics

December 2018 by Marc Jacob

Pulse Secure announced the release of Pulse Policy Secure (PPS) 9.0R3 to extend its Zero Trust Security model to IIoT devices and smart factories. The new version enables factories to streamline machinery repairs and diminish costly production downtime through IT-managed secure access. It also secures networks by expanding its behavioural analytics to IoT devices, detecting anomalies and preventing their compromise.

Pulse Policy Secure (PPS) is an integral part of Pulse Secure’s combined VPN and NAC solution that provides corporate networks with Zero Trust Security through visibility, “comply to connect” policy enforcement and security orchestration with popular network and security infrastructure. 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 authorized 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 sophisticated 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 utilizing 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 preemptive measures before attacks succeed.

The new PPS 9.0 IoT support also provides practical relief for the frequent and costly issue of factory floor equipment outages. Aberdeen recently reported that 82 percent 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. The latest PPS release works seamlessly with Pulse Connect Secure to solve the problem in an innovative way. The combined NAC and VPN approach enables IT teams to grant remote secure access—authenticated and encrypted—to support contractors for expedited repair and return to service of factory IIoT systems for greater uptime and productivity. IT teams ensure security with remote zero-trust access via auto-provisioned NGFWs, and by enforcing security policies that authenticate contractors based on their technician role, endpoint device status and authorization to work on the targeted IIoT device.

- Availability

The latest features of Pulse Policy Secure 9.0 are available on physical or virtual Pulse Secure Appliances (PSA). Existing customers with PSA appliances under PPS subscription or software maintenance can readily upgrade at no charge. PPS on a virtual appliance with a three-year subscription starts at $31,000 MSRP for 500 concurrent connections. Pulse Connect Secure customers can cost-effectively extend their VPN investment to include network visibility, access control and mobile security with the Pulse Access Suite.




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