Siemens releases new protection and management platforms for automation and remote networks

Siemens presents two new products designed to secure remote management applications as well as protect industrial networks and automation systems.

Sinema Remote Connect is a new management platform from Siemens that enables secure, simple and efficient remote access to globally distributed machines and plants. Facilitating various remote services including remote maintenance as well as condition monitoring, Sinema Remote Connect authorises all communication connections and lets users conveniently manage network connections and access widely distributed plants and machinery.

Particularly suitable for standard and special-purpose machine building, Siemens’ new remote management platform allows OEMs to uniquely identify and control multiple identical machines at different customer locations.

Sinema Remote Connect ensures the secure administration of VPN tunnels between the control centre, service engineers and the installed plants. An independent connection to Sinema Remote Connect is first established by the service engineers as well as the machines, with the management platform verifying the identity of each station through an exchange of certificates. The VPN tunnel connections are certificate-based in accordance with the OpenVPN standard and are protected with up to 4096-bit encryption.

All machines can be uniquely identified and selected via Sinema Remote Connect by means of an integrated address book function, and VPN connections established using the mouse. Being protocol-independent, Sinema Remote Connect allows users to use different applications such as the Simatic Step 7 programming software (TIA Portal) for remote maintenance as soon as the connection to the machine has been established. 

Machines can be connected to Sinema Remote Connect via cellular phone networks, DSL or existing private network infrastructures. Siemens’ Scalance series industrial routers such as the Scalance S615 can be used for this purpose. Designed for simple parameterisation via Sinema Remote Connect using an auto-configuration interface, the routers only have to be registered once in the management platform, after which all configuration data is assigned to them. This eliminates the otherwise time-consuming programming of the devices.

The Scalance S615 from the Scalance S range is the latest addition to the Siemens security module product line. Designed as a cost-effective entry-level device, the Scalance S615 protects industrial networks and automation systems against unauthorised access.

Key features of the Scalance S615 security modules include five Ethernet ports offering protection for various network topologies via firewall or VPN (IPsec and OpenVPN); configurable up to five variable security zones with individual firewall rules; auto configuration interface allowing easy integration and parameterisation with the Sinema Remote Connect platform; and multiple configuration, management and diagnostics options via web-based management (WBM), command line interface (CLI) and simple network management protocol (SNMP).

As a dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server and client, the Scalance S615 security module can be used in any VLAN security zone. The new device has a key-operated switch function on its digital input for establishing a controlled tunnel connection.

Connecting seamlessly to the security infrastructures of corporate and industrial IT networks, the security modules in the Siemens Scalance S family address the challenges of automation systems with features such as a rugged design for industrial environments, easy installation, minimal downtime in the event of faults due to a redundant power supply, and rapid device replacement via C-plug.

The Scalance S615 comes with a five-year warranty for units delivered since January 1st, 2015.

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