Published on : Dec 3, 2022
New solution secures widespread cybersecurity weak point: remote access and collaboration within distributed industrial organizations
Xage, the zero trust real-world security company, launched Zero Trust Session Collaboration to enable faster, more secure collaboration for critical infrastructure and industrial organizations. This industry-first tool allows administrators to securely invite approved users to remotely view or control a desktop, application, or terminal screen.
Critical infrastructure organizations frequently tap vendors or third-party providers to troubleshoot issues or install new technologies. These interactions require collaboration via remote desktop access, a high risk approach that has led to numerous attacks on operational technology (OT) environments. Most existing collaboration solutions either require direct internet access or require operators to change firewall rules or use VPNs, introducing numerous attack vectors and unnecessary risks. Neither option enables granular control over which specific assets collaborators can access.
“Real world operations are often distributed and difficult to secure. Safe collaboration solutions suited for these environments have long been missing in the market,” says Duncan Greatwood, CEO at Xage. “Xage now makes it easy to invite users to collaborate on distributed, modern and legacy assets while maintaining granular control over what the user can do. Zero Trust Session Collaboration boosts operator productivity and speeds up operational work to keep critical infrastructure running.”
With Zero Trust Session Collaboration, operators can allow multiple remote users to securely work together on an IT or OT asset, and access is controlled via policies enforced by the Xage Fabric. Session Collaboration also provides complete visibility and command to administrators who can disconnect a participant, take over controls, entirely terminate a session, and review a complete audit of all actions taken by all participants.
"Session collaboration from Xage will solve real-world problems for the industrial enterprises. Site managers, remote workers, OEMs, and third-party contractors all need access to collaborate with each other, but in the past, it was always a trade-off between security, accessibility, and ease of use,” said Jonathon Gordon, Directing Analyst at Takepoint Research. “But now, the trade-off is no longer necessary. We now have a solution that empowers secure teamwork to keep the lights on and the gas flowing."
Zero trust principles are baked into Session Collaboration. Each collaborator must first verify their identity and can only connect if they have authorized access to the remote workstation, device, or asset. Administrators with higher privileges can voluntarily shadow all ongoing collaboration sessions to monitor actions, provide “over the shoulder” monitoring to avoid any inadvertent mistakes, and terminate sessions at any time.
The solution is also fully browser-based, eliminating the need to install any agent and corresponding patches. Access sessions are secured with a multi-hop network approach that terminates connections at each layer of security separation to maintain the integrity of the OT security model. When authorized, session participants can also securely transfer files in and out of the operation, with malware scanning and file integrity checks at defined security boundaries.
The tool is now part of Xage’s Zero Trust Access Management solution, which enables administrators to create and enforce identity-driven access policies for all assets and users.