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First Secure Messaging Software For The Industrial IoT

Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the Industrial Internet of Things communications platform company, has introduced the first secure messaging software designed for critical industrial systems.


SUNNYVALE, Calif. —Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the Industrial Internet of Things communications platform company, has introduced the first secure messaging software designed for critical industrial systems. Compliant with the new Data Distribution Service (DDS) security standard from the Object Management Group (OMG), RTI Connext DDS Secure secures communication between the intelligent machines that comprise the Industrial Internet. As machine-to-machine connectivity becomes more pervasive in organizational and safety-critical applications, ensuring the confidentiality and authenticity of data are paramount.

Connecting both large and small industrial machines and sensors delivers significant benefits to the physical and digital worlds, including improved efficiency, automation, safety and asset utilization. These include:

    • Higher quality healthcare through better patient monitoring
    • Improved energy efficiency by more quickly balancing supply and demand
    • More efficient manufacturing through increased automation and predictive maintenance
    • More effective defense systems with higher situational awareness

Unfortunately, because of the critical nature of these systems and their underlying data, they are attractive targets for espionage and sabotage. For example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that in the last three months of 2013, 59 percent of all reported cyber attacks against critical infrastructure targeted energy and 20 percent targeted manufacturing.

Implementing security for the IIoT is particularly challenging because cyber security cannot come at the expense of performance or safety. Industrial systems must perform at the speed of the physical processes they manage, which is often measured in milliseconds or even microseconds. They must also be completely reliable, since even brief unplanned outages can have calamitous consequences. Connext DDS Secure protects systems against unauthorized access and tampering. It provides authentication, authorization, confidentiality and logging of security events. To optimize performance, there is fine-grain control over the level of security applied to each data flow. Only data that must be private incurs encryption/decryption overhead. Other data can be efficiently signed with a Message Authentication Code (MAC) to prevent malicious manipulation. 

Connext DDS Secure provides the security needed by these critical applications while also satisfying their demanding performance and safety requirements. Unlike messaging solutions designed for traditional Information Technology (IT) applications, Connext DDS Secure does not require any centralized brokers, servers or system administration. As a result, it delivers very low latency, does not have a single point of failure, and is suitable for the autonomous and embedded systems that make up the Industrial Internet of Things.

“Better integrating medical devices can help clinicians eliminate mistakes while improving their efficiency,” said Tracy Rausch, CEO of DocBox. “When dealing with highly reliable safety critical medical device systems, security is preeminent concern for both privacy and safety reasons. RTI’s commitment to the DDS security standard was one of the key reasons DocBox selected Connext DDS Secure for our Integrated Clinical Environment System platform.”

“It is imperative that the electric grid be modernized to support distributed generation of renewable energy,” commented Bob Leigh, CEO of LocalGrid. “The LocalGrid DataFabric(TM) grid architecture enables this by securely supporting field deployment of analytics and control applications. The LocalGrid DataFabric already uses Connext DDS and we will be taking advantage of the new Connext DDS Secure capabilities to deliver even higher performance and scalability.”

“The Industrial Internet requires both interoperability and security,” according to David Barnett, vice president of products and markets at RTI. “This is why RTI worked with the OMG to create the DDS security standard. And as the first vendor to support the standard, RTI is pleased to give our customers a head-start on building robust Industrial Internet systems.”