Organization: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Year: 2017

Older technologies— critical for the operation of transportation systems, delivery of water and electricity, manufacturing of key goods, and production of oil and gas— are still in use worldwide, unable to be replaced because of electrical, environmental or operational requirements. These legacy technologies lack the ability to interface with today’s cyber security tools. SerialTap is an inexpensive, compact way to connect legacy technologies to a computer network and commercial advanced cyber security software to monitor older systems and gain situational awareness. Without interrupting system operations, SerialTap ‘translates’ the data from the control system so that the network cybersecurity software can analyze it, allowing the identification of anomalies like cyber-attacks, speeding their resolution, and potentially saving millions of dollars in downtime. SerialTap works by tapping into serial communications between two or more devices, transforming the serial data into the packet format that more advanced systems use, wrapping it in a routable protocol appropriate for Ethernet networks and transmitting it in easily digestible chunks to existing analysis software monitoring the entire system. SerialTap can provide data from a variety of industrial control systems such as sensors, switches, valves, relays, workstations, servers and control computers across field locations.