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ProjectX: Water Utility Overcomes Firewall Limits with GrayMatterGUARD

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A southeastern U.S. water utility’s IT department wanted to create more firewall rules to exclude unwanted network connections that could pose a cybersecurity threat.

The utility’s primary facility and two dozen distributed assets in remote locations connect to its network via cellular, microwave or fiber communications.

The remote, distributed assets include unmanned water conveyance systems such as storage tanks, pump stations and lift stations that serve roughly 6,000 customers spread across 200 square miles.

Challenges

  • Current firewall hardware can’t handle additional rules
  • Flat operational technology infrastructure means a single breach exposes entire network
  • Existing staff isn’t trained to manually write complex exclusionary firewall rules for each site
  • Expanding firewall infrastructure is cost prohibitive
 
 
 
 
THE SOLUTION

The utility implemented GrayMatterGUARD, an industrial cybersecurity solution that deceives attackers, harvests intelligence and empowers operators to control their cyber strategy with rapid policy and boundary creation via a drag-and-drop interface.

To demonstrate its capabilities, engineers performed a network penetration test on a group of previously unmanaged, remote sites now protected by GrayMatterGUARD.

GrayMatterGUARD’s agentless technology was configured inline as an undetectable bridge via a ruggedized appliance. The solution successfully prevented the pen tester’s Red Team from gaining scanning visibility into the rest of the network.

An automated containment response stopped the pen tester’s threat from moving within the network. Next, GrayMatterGUARD active threat detection triggered an alert that reported the anomalous network behavior to operators. A blocking rule was pushed out to the other locations involved to completely contain the threat.

An automated containment response stopped the pen tester’s threat from moving within the network – GrayMatterGUARD active threat detection triggered an alert that reported the anomalous network behavior to operators.
 
 
 
 

BIG WINS

 


GrayMatterGUARD maintained secure 2-way communication with OT assets


Automated containment of threats on the network was successful


GrayMatterGUARD automatically wrote blocking rules upon detecting an anomaly


The utility’s leaders authorized a 5-year GrayMatterGUARD license to protect its remote, distributed network from cybersecurity threats
 
 
 
 

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