Cross-Domain Solutions

4Secure specialises in being the deliverer of intricate, scalable cross-domain solutions for diverse use cases. These comprehensive solutions span a wide range of industries and are achieved through the integration of software, hardware, and expertise.

Delivering efficiency and security with cross-domain solutions

Cross-domain solutions (CDS) are vital for ensuring secure data sharing and communication between different security domains. Discover how 4Secure solves real-world cross-domain security challenges with its solutions across governments, security and critical infrastructure…

File Transfer with TrustedFilter™ SECUREimpex

Most organisational data still moves around as traditional files. Moving these files quickly across different domains still causes organisational headache. 4Secure’s TrustedFilter™ file transfer capability, is a high performance, cross-platform file transfer solution that has been designed to integrate with TrustedFilter™ unidirectional hardware to shape a comprehensive cross-domain solution. The innovative alternative to traditional Sheep Dip.

Command and Control

4Secure has delivered accredited bidirectional cross-domain solutions that facilitate seamless communication between endpoints, vehicles, and personnel across multiple classifications. This solution enables real-time transmission of video, sensor feeds, geospatial, and positional data into a higher classification system while allowing operators to control and access the sensor data of low classification commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems.

Real-Time Secure Video Transfer

Providing visibility into what is displayed on a device in a lower-security environment can offer valuable insights to users but is typically restricted by policy. 4Secure has delivered a secure solution for transporting real-time video across a unidirectional appliance into a higher-security environment, enabling users to take action based on the conveyed information. 4Secure perform a transformation on the video codec itself to deliver this capability while adhering to rigorous information assurance principals.

File Content Disarm and Reconstruction Supported by Glasswall

Glasswall’s content disarm reconstruct engine (CDR) can be integrated with TrustedFilter™ to shape a comprehensive cross-domain solution, built with a data-centric defence approach. 4Secure’s TrustedFilter™ File Transfer software and unidirectional flow control hardware, integrated with the Glasswall CDR Engine is solutioneered for securely importing files into the most secure environments.

Splunk Data Import

The visibility of logging information and real-time alerts originating from network devices, IoT endpoints, and applications can empower Security Operations Centre (SOC) analysts, enabling proactive actions or rapid remediation. 4Secure have delivered a solution for validating Splunk data and ensuring it’s secure delivery through a unidirectional gateway into the SOC on the destination network. 

OPC Transfer Supported by Cogent DataHub

The client-server nature of an OPC architecture usually demands bidirectional communication, creating a challenge when attempting to transfer OPC data in a unidirectional environment. However, there is often a desire to transfer OPC data from the OT (operational technology) environment to the IT (information technology) for enhanced visibility and capabilities. 4Secure has delivered successful integrations with Cogent DataHub enabling the unidirectional transfer of OPC data across networks.

TAK Server Federation

The Federation of TAK Servers allows geospatial awareness, position tracking, and mission planning among TAK clients connected to different TAK Servers. Challenges arise when TAK clients such as endpoints, vehicles, and personnel are outside the network boundary but still need to communicate to share crucial information in realtime. 4Secure has delivered a bidirectional solution to enable the federation of multiple TAK Servers across network boundaries.

Log Rhythm Agent Data Import

The visibility of logging information and real-time alerts originating from network devices, IoT endpoints, and applications can empower Security Operations Centre (SOC) analysts, enabling proactive actions or rapid remediation. 4Secure have delivered a solution for validating Log Rhythm agent data and ensuring it’s secure delivery through a unidirectional gateway into the SOC on the destination network. 

Browse Down

Accessing a system in a lower security environment can bring capability and efficiency to many organisations but is prohibited by policy. 4Secure have a delivered comprehensive browse down solutions to enable instructions to be sent to a system in a lower security environment, as well as information to be received back to the system in the higher security environment. The security enforcing functions built around hardware components are crucial to enabling this capability while maintaining adherence to information assurance principles.

Supported Applications

Native applications supported by 4Secure Cross-Domain Solutions and TrustedFilter™ software.

Modbus Transfer

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Log Forwarding

Performance Management

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OPC Transfer

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OSIsoft PI System Transfer

Screen Replication

m

Remote File Transfer

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DNP3 Transfer

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HTTP Transfer

w

Advanced Messaging Queueing Protocol

MQ Telemetry Transport

FAQs

What are Cross-Domain Solutions?

Cross-domain solutions (CDS) combine hardware and software to securely transfer data between environments operating at different security classifications that would otherwise be disconnected. Cross-Domain Solutions can be unidirectional or bidirectional.

Cross-domain solutions serve as powerful business enablers, enhancing organisational efficiency by empowering users to have seamless on-demand access to their data erasing the need for time-consuming manual import processes for users to get the data they need.

4Secure’s TrustedFilter™ cross-domain solutions typically include a suite of 4Secure TrustedFilter™ software, which provides feature-rich capabilities while strictly adhering to information assurance principles. The TrustedFilter software is often integrated with a data diode or other hardware-enforced unidirectional appliance.

What are the advantages of Cross-Domain Solutions?

Cross-Domain solutions facilitate data sharing between two environments that would otherwise be disconnected. This offers seamless, on-demand data access for users in both environments, eliminating the need for manual import and export processes to move data between varying security classifications. Such processes are time-consuming and inefficient. Ultimately, a cross-domain solution enhances user productivity and boosts organisational efficiency.

What is the role of software in a Cross-Domain Solution?

The crucial component of a cross-domain solution is its software, responsible for enabling data to flow and ensuring information assurance.

4Secure’s cross-domain solutions utilise 4Secure’s proprietary TrustedFilter™ software to perform one of the following four key roles:

Protocol Handling: Proxies are necessary to terminate applications and protocols that usually rely on two-way communication, converting them into one-way data streams suitable for unidirectional data diodes or appliances.

Data Verification: This involves in-depth content inspection and validation to permit only the expected data for transmission.

Data Transformation: Transforming complex data types into a structured markup language is often a prerequisite to enable effective verification.

Data Decryption and Re-encryption: Decrypting encrypted traffic is often necessary for interpretation by a verification engine. If the data is successfully verified, it is re-encrypted before being sent to its destination.

How are Cross-Domain Solutions different from data diodes?

A data diode primarily enforces unidirectional flow control through hardware.

A cross-domain solution combines both hardware and software to provide feature-rich capabilities. These include handling two-way protocols in a one-way environment, performing transformation on data types into structured markup languages, as well as content inspection and data validation.

Cross-domain solutions can also be implemented for bidirectional use-cases, whereas a data-diode will only function unidirectionally. 

What is a bidirectional Cross-Domain Solution?

A bi-directional Cross-Domain Solution enables the secure transfer of data both inbound and outbound of a secure envrionment.

A typical bidirectional cross-domain solution comprises two separate data diodes, layered software to perform granular content inspection and validation to secure the solution.

How does Secure By Design apply to Cross-Domain Solutions?

Secure By Design sits at the centre of 4Secure’s approach to solutioneering Cross-Domain Solutions.

Crucial to achieve this is TrustedFilter™ software component, which acts as the foundation for creating a secure environment. It ensures that only data packets adhering to predefined schemas are allowed to reach their intended destination.

By integrating TrustedFilter™ software with a data diode or other unidirectional appliance, we establish a hardware-enforced solution that enhances defence techniques across multiple levels of the OSI stack.

How do Cross-Domain Solutions support the NCSC guidance for Securely Importing Data?

Cross-Domain Solutions use various techniques in both hardware and software to adhere to the NCSE’s guidelines for Securely Importing Data and Securely Exporting Data. These techniques include:

Unidirectional Flow Control: Using hardware to enforce the one-way flow of data.

Syntactic and Semantic Verification: Each packet of data is carefully examined to determine whether it meets the expected structure and contains the expected contents.

Transforming complex data types into simple data types: Complicated data is converted into a structured format so it can be interpreted by a verification engine.

Protocol Transformation: Data is temporarily converted into a different format to hide network details before being being reassembled into it’s original format. 

 

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The Role of Cross-Domain Security 

These solutions are key to ensuring secure data transfer and communication in critical OT environments. Let’s explore the core aspects that define these solutions:

Seamless interoperability: These solutions facilitate smooth communication between systems, even when they use different technologies or protocols. They achieve this through standardised data formats and messaging protocols, ensuring uninterrupted network traffic.

Robust security measures: Security is central to CDS. These solutions are equipped with encryption, authentication, and access control features to combat unauthorised access, data breaches, and cyberattacks, making them vital for national security.

Data mapping and transformation: CDS help in mapping and transforming data seamlessly within OT systems, ensuring compatibility and accuracy, addressing security challenges posed by inconsistent data formats.

Policy enforcement: These solutions rigorously enforce data-sharing and communication policies to ensure compliance with privacy laws, regulations, and organisational requirements, thus preventing security breaches.

Scalability for the future: In a constantly evolving digital landscape, scalability is crucial. CDS can handle increasing data volumes and system complexity, ensuring long-term reliability and protection against emerging cyber threats.

Comparison with Traditional Network Security Devices

Primary focus: While traditional network security devices primarily protect networks from external threats, these solutions focus on secure data sharing between different domains. 

Data sharing and interoperability: These solutions excel in data sharing and interoperability, ensuring efficient communication between diverse systems, especially in the context of OT convergence.

Policy enforcement and compliance: CDS enforce data exchange policies for best in class defence against cyber attacks , while network security devices are primarily concerned with threat detection and prevention

Collaboration enablement: CDS facilitate real-time collaboration, making them ideal for efficient communication within OT systems.

Targeted users and applications: These solutions are designed for organisations that require secure data sharing, whereas network security devices cater to a wider range of applications, emphasising network security.

The Anatomy of Cross-Domain Security

Data guards: Data guards inspect and enforce security policies, blocking unauthorised access and malicious content to ensure data transfer adheres to security protocols.

Data diodes: Unidirectional data diodes allow data to flow in only one direction, maintaining the security and integrity of sensitive information.

Access control: Authentication mechanisms, password policies, multi-factor authentication, and role-based access controls help manage access and maintain security, which is vital for protecting ICS environments.

Audit and monitoring: Audit and monitoring tools track and record user actions, detect anomalies, and provide alerts in the event of security breaches, ensuring network security.

Cross-Domain Security in Government

Government organisations heavily rely on these solutions for secure and efficient information sharing. Here’s why they are indispensable in the content of national security and OT convergence:

Secure information sharing: Protecting sensitive or classified data is paramount. These solutions enable secure data sharing, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected and accessible to authorised personnel.

Enhanced collaboration: Collaboration between government entities is essential for addressing complex challenges and executing large-scale projects. These solutions facilitate seamless communication and data exchange between different departments and teams.

Regulatory compliance: Government organisations must adhere to strict legal and regulatory requirements. These solutions enforce policies and rules, minimising the risk of penalties and reputational damage.

Improved decision-making: Access to real-time, accurate data from various sources empowers government officials to make better-informed decisions that positively impact public policies and governance.

Increased operational efficiency: Automation and streamlined data exchange processes save time and resources, eliminating manual data entry and reducing errors.

National security: These solutions are critical for maintaining national security by enabling secure communication and data sharing between military, intelligence, and law enforcement entities.

Securing Trusted vs. Untrusted Zones

In the digital landscape, distinguishing between trusted and untrusted zones is vital. Untrusted zones, like the public internet, pose significant security risks, while trusted zones are secure domains under organisational control. These solutions step in to enforce stringent security measures when data crosses the boundary between these zones, preserving the integrity and confidentiality of shared information.

Security Industrial Control Systems (ICS) 

In the digital landscape, distinguishing between trusted and untrusted zones is vital. Untrusted zones, like the public internet, pose significant security risks, while trusted zones are secure domains under organisational control. These solutions step in to enforce stringent security measures when data crosses the boundary between these zones, preserving the integrity and confidentiality of shared information.