MOXA Creates a Safeguarding Router to Help Secure Critical Infrastructure

August 14, 2021 by Shawn Dietrich

Amid continuous cyber threats and ransomware, it is imperative that critical infrastructure data is kept safe. MOXA’s newest router has integrated DPI and VPN to help keep data secure.

Safe Ethernet Routers

Automation component manufacturers take advantage of the open and industrial Ethernet protocols and produce components that can communicate over an industrial Ethernet network. With Industry 4.0 and IIoT becoming more popular, these industrial networks expose sensitive equipment to the public internet. 


The MOXA EDR-G9010 Series. Image used courtesy of MOXA


If industrial components are exposed to a public network, people outside the company could change the programmable logic controller (PLC), enable servo drives, or even shut down robots and equipment. Putting network components on a securely managed Ethernet router protects those components from outside attacks.  


Advanced DPI, VPN, And Certifications

Advanced deep packet interception (DPI) means every message sent through the router is inspected, in detail, for malicious or erroneous data, or even just troubleshooting information and network load. The router can re-route or flag alarming messages. 


A representation of DPI and VPN. 


Using a router with DPI technology ensures that the messages being sent are error-free and get to the intended device quickly. This is important if you are telling a robot over Ethernet that the tooling is clear and ready to enter a machine, or if an operator needs to open a specific valve from miles away. 

MOXA’s router has VPN capabilities, while VPN (virtual private network) is not new, putting VPN features on an industrial router is breaking new ground. MOXA ensures its customers that the VPN technology they use is secure. Therefore, there is no need to purchase additional remote connection devices.   

These features sound good, but how do we know they really are secure? The router comes with the following certifications: IEC61850/IEEE 1613, NEMA TS2, ATEX Zone 2, Class 1 Division 2. These certifications allow the MOXA EDR-G9010 to be used in many industries, from water treatment plants to traffic control. These industries depend heavily on secure networks that are exposed to the internet to facilitate their SCADA system.


MOXA’s Router Usability

Secure routers have been on the market for quite some time now, but they mostly focus on IT infrastructure, like computers and servers. The EDR-G9010 focuses on industrial Ethernet protocols like Ethernet IP, Modbus, or Profinet. These protocols are important to controls engineers who must develop networks and PLC code to interface with components that use these protocols.  


A data center using industrial Ethernet. Image used courtesy of Lars Kienle


Having a secure router that can also support industrial Ethernet components means not setting up multiple networks or purchasing extra equipment. MOXA designed EDR-G9010 to include easy-to-use configurations profiles for popular industrial protocols. This allows a technician to quickly set up the ports in the router for particular automation devices.


Safe Router Applications 

Remote monitoring and remote troubleshooting of machinery and processes are becoming very popular in today’s work-from-home atmosphere. Controls engineers and IT professionals need a way to remote connect to private networks that house the automation components and monitor or troubleshoot equipment.  

Typically, this would require additional equipment and setting up complex private and public networks. With the growing need to secure critical infrastructure, machine builders and engineers in this space need a solution that is compatible with other components and protocols.