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Friday, December 8, 2023

Securely sending industrial information to AWS IoT companies utilizing unidirectional gateways


Crucial infrastructure clients are challenged to make industrial networks extra accessible with out considerably rising cybersecurity dangers. That is due partially to the frequent observe of utilizing Industrial IoT (IIoT) and cloud applied sciences to research massive volumes of commercial information to enhance operational efficiencies. To achieve success, this observe requires a stability between advancing digitization to stay aggressive and securing important infrastructure programs.

Lots of the Industrial Management Techniques (ICS) and Operational Know-how (OT) utilized in important infrastructure have expertise with little or no built-in safety. Connecting these programs to exterior, untrusted networks poses safety dangers since these programs help the protected operation of important infrastructure. So, how are you going to safely and securely join these programs to the cloud to get the advantages from cloud choices with out including threat to the ICS/OT programs?

AWS recommends following the ten safety golden guidelines for IIoT options. These guidelines suggest to deploy safety home equipment, corresponding to unidirectional gateways, to regulate information circulate and set up safe connections to exterior, untrusted networks and cloud companies.

Unidirectional gateways permit OT/IIoT information to be despatched from the OT community to the IT community and Cloud in a single path whereas bodily blocking visitors in the other way. Unidirectional gateways is usually a safe different to firewalls. They meet a number of industrial safety requirements, corresponding to NERC CIP, ISA/IEC 62443, NEI 08-09, NRC 5.71, and TS50701. They’re additionally supported by the Trade IoT Consortium’s Industrial Web Safety Framework, who offers steering on defending security networks and management networks with unidirectional gateway expertise. NIST SP 800-82 states that utilizing unidirectional gateways might present extra protections related to system compromises at larger ranges or tiers inside the setting. For instance, a unidirectional gateway deployed between Layers 2 and three might defend Layer 0, 1, and a pair of units from a cybersecurity occasion that happens at Layers 3, 4, or 5. For extra data, discuss with the Purdue Enterprise Reference Structure (PERA).

On this weblog, we focus on two choices to ship OT/IIoT information to AWS utilizing unidirectional gateways. You need to use Waterfall Safety’s Unidirectional Cloud Gateway to ship OT/IIoT information to AWS IoT SiteWise or AWS IoT Core to help IIoT, Trade 4.0, and AI/ML use circumstances. For instance, to enhance operational efficiencies and scale back unplanned downtime in important infrastructure operations. This strategy allows clients in important infrastructure sectors and controlled industries to reap the benefits of AWS Cloud companies whereas limiting the dangers to their ICS/OT environments.

Answer Overview

Unidirectional gateways are a mix of {hardware} and software program. Unidirectional gateway {hardware} is bodily in a position to ship information in just one path, whereas the gateway software program replicates servers and emulates units. Because the gateway is bodily in a position to ship information in just one path, there isn’t any risk of IT-based or internet-based safety occasions pivoting into the OT networks. The gateway’s reproduction servers and emulated units simplify OT/IT integration.

A typical unidirectional gateway {hardware} implementation consists of a community equipment containing two separate circuit boards joined by a fiberoptic cable. The “TX,” or “transmit,” board comprises a fiber-optic transmitter, and the “RX,” or “obtain,” board comprises a fiber-optic receiver. Not like typical fiber-optic communication elements, that are transceivers, the TX equipment doesn’t comprise a receiver and the RX equipment doesn’t comprise a transmitter. As a result of there isn’t any laser within the receiver, there isn’t any bodily method for the receiving circuit board to ship any data again to the transmitting board. The equipment can be utilized to transmit data out of the management system community into an exterior community, or on to the web, with out the chance of a cyber occasion or one other sign returning into the management system.

Determine 1 reveals how a unidirectional gateway replicates historian information from an industrial community to an exterior community, corresponding to an enterprise IT community or Cloud. Unidirectional gateway software program operating on the commercial circuit board connects to the commercial historian database and points queries to the database. Historic information retrieved from the commercial database is distributed throughout the unidirectional gateway {hardware} to software program operating on the board related to the exterior community. That software program registers as a consumer of the reproduction historian database. It then points insert requests to that database asking the database to retailer all of the timestamped information obtained from the commercial community. Customers and purposes on the exterior community that want entry to the historic information can entry the reproduction historian. This strategy isolates and protects the commercial programs within the industrial community.

Determine 1: Historian information replication utilizing a Unidirectional gateway (courtesy Waterfall Safety Options)

Choice 1: Sending OT/IIoT information to AWS IoT SiteWise

Determine 2 reveals how one can ship industrial information to AWS IoT SiteWise utilizing a unidirectional gateway. AWS IoT SiteWise is a managed service that simplifies amassing, organizing, and analyzing industrial gear information at scale. The Waterfall gateway equipment reads OPC UA information from an OPC UA server and hosts a reproduction OPC UA server for the IT community. An AWS IoT SiteWise Edge gateway operating on AWS IoT Greengrass reads the OPC UA information from the reproduction OPC UA server and sends that information to AWS IoT SiteWise within the cloud. The information is saved in AWS IoT SiteWise and may be visualized in AWS IoT SiteWise Monitor. AWS IoT SiteWise Edge software program makes it simple to gather, set up, course of, and monitor gear information on-premises. AWS IoT SiteWise Monitor is a characteristic of AWS IoT SiteWise that you need to use to create portals within the type of a managed net utility. You may then use these portals to view and share your industrial/operational information.

Determine 2 – Sending industrial gear information utilizing a unidirectional gateway to AWS IoT SiteWise

Answer Overview


1. Setup AWS IoT Greengrass

AWS IoT Greengrass is an open-source edge runtime and cloud service for constructing, deploying, and managing gadget software program. With AWS IoT Greengrass put in, you possibly can deploy AWS IoT SiteWise Edge gateways to gather industrial information utilizing industrial protocols corresponding to OPC UA.

2. Deploy AWS IoT SiteWise Edge gateway software program

AWS IoT SiteWise gateways run on AWS IoT Greengrass V2 as an IoT Greengrass part that helps information assortment and processing on premises. On this step, you deploy the AWS IoT SiteWise Edge gateway software program for information assortment utilizing OPC UA and configure the OPC UA settings.

3. Mannequin the belongings in AWS IoT SiteWise

Mannequin the belongings to create digital representations of your industrial operation with AWS IoT SiteWise. An asset represents a tool, a chunk of kit, or a course of that uploads a number of information streams to the AWS Cloud.

4. Configure AWS IoT SiteWise Monitor dashboard

Create a dashboard to watch key working parameters and efficiency metrics to your belongings utilizing AWS IoT SiteWise Monitor and take mandatory actions when wanted in near-real time.


5. Setup the OPC UA consumer on the Waterfall unidirectional gateway equipment

Use the unidirectional gateway’s web-based consumer interface on the commercial community. Log in and configure an OPC UA information supply. Enter the host title/IP handle and login credentials. Additionally, embrace directions about copying all information factors within the OPC UA server (the default), or choose the components of the OPC UA namespace that may be copied to the IT community.

  • Waterfall TX acts as a local OPC UA consumer that reads information from the OPC UA server on the client’s industrial system in actual time.
  • Waterfall RX acts as a reproduction of the commercial OPC UA server and allows OPC UA purchasers on the enterprise community to learn the replicated information.

For detailed directions, discuss with the Waterfall Safety product documentation.

Choice 2: Sending OT/IIoT information to AWS IoT Core

Determine 3 reveals how one can ship industrial information to AWS IoT Core via a unidirectional gateway and utilizing the MQTT protocol. Messages can then be routed to totally different AWS companies (corresponding to AWS IoT Occasions, AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon Easy Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Timestream) for processing utilizing the AWS IoT guidelines engine. The Waterfall Unidirectional Gateway is an MQTT dealer on the commercial community. It receives MQTT messages from industrial programs and sends that information via the gateway to the Waterfall consumer, which then sends the info to AWS IoT Core.

Determine 3 – Sending industrial gear information utilizing a unidirectional gateway to AWS IoT Core

Answer Overview


1. Setup Amazon Timestream to retailer the info originating from the commercial database.

On this state of affairs, we use Timestream which is a quick, scalable, and serverless time-series database. Nevertheless, you need to use different purpose-built AWS Cloud databases.

2. Create an AWS IoT Factor with certificates and guidelines to ship information to Timestream.

On this step, the Waterfall Unidirectional gateway is created as an IoT Factor in AWS IoT Core with an IoT certificates and IoT coverage. A rule is configured to ship information obtained by AWS IoT Core to Timestream. Timestream integrates with generally used companies for visualization and machine studying. For instance, you possibly can visualize information utilizing Amazon QuickSight or Amazon Managed Grafana, and use Amazon SageMaker for machine studying.

3. Create and setup the Amazon Managed Grafana dashboard to visualise information.

4. Configure the Amazon Managed Grafana dashboard and create the graphs.

5. Visualize your time collection OT/IIoT information and create alerts utilizing Amazon Managed Grafana.


6. Setup an MQTT connector via the Waterfall web-based consumer interface on the commercial and the IT sides of the unidirectional gateway equipment.

For detailed directions, discuss with Waterfall Safety product documentation.


On this put up, you discovered tips on how to stream OT/IIoT information to AWS IoT SiteWise and AWS IoT Core utilizing the Waterfall Unidirectional Cloud Gateway. This answer allows regulated industries and demanding infrastructure sectors to reap the benefits of cloud companies in AWS (corresponding to IoT and AI/ML) whereas stopping distant occasions from penetrating again into protected industrial networks. Whereas the unidirectional gateway simplifies OT/IT integration and helps enhance the safety posture, it’s only one side when designing safe OT/IIoT community architectures. AWS recommends a multi-layered strategy to safe the ICS/OT, IIoT, and cloud environments as described in the ten safety golden guidelines for IIoT options.


Ryan Dsouza AWS

Ryan Dsouza is a Principal Industrial IoT (IIoT) Safety Options Architect at AWS. Based mostly in New York Metropolis, Ryan helps clients design, develop, and function safer, scalable, and progressive IIoT options utilizing the breadth and depth of AWS capabilities to ship measurable enterprise outcomes. Ryan has over 25 years of expertise in digital platforms, good manufacturing, vitality administration, constructing and industrial automation, and OT/IIoT safety throughout a various vary of industries. Ryan is captivated with bringing safety to all related units and being a champion of constructing a greater, safer, and extra resilient world for everybody. Earlier than AWS, Ryan labored for Accenture, SIEMENS, Normal Electrical, IBM, and AECOM, serving clients for his or her digital transformation initiatives.

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