June 24, 2008

Air Liquide Deploys Top Layer’s IPS 5500 Across 100 Sites Nationwide to Protect Industrial Network

Top Layer Networks, the leading global provider of Network Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), announced today that Air Liquide, a world leader in industrial and medical gases and related services, has deployed its IPS 5500 intrusion prevention solutions. The deployment spans 100 sites across the U.S. where Top Layer's IPS 5500 solutions will be used to protect Air Liquide's industrial network from today's increasingly sophisticated and nefarious cyber threats.

Air Liquide relies on production from nearly 200 plants across the United States to produce its products. These manufacturing facilities create a unique security environment, where distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLC) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems are crucial to ongoing operations. Air Liquide recognized early on that its plants must be protected from the growing potential of cyber threats. Understanding the crucial role that the industrial network and SCADA systems serve Air Liquide, the company evaluated options for strengthening its defenses around these areas.

According to Charles Neely Harper, Director of National Supply & Pipeline Operations for Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP, "We examined a couple of different avenues that would enable us to achieve our industrial network security objectives, beginning with simple TCP/UDP port blocking approaches in layer 3 switches, but the resulting protection capabilities of that solution did not align with what we envisioned. We then evaluated intrusion prevention solutions from a short list of vendors and chose Top Layer Networks' IPS 5500 solution."

"The IPS 5500 delivers highly-reliable deep packet inspection to protect the SCADA systems and industrial network from cyber threats that exist around every corner of the Internet," according to Harper. Upon deployment, the IPS 5500 instantly identified oversized control packets and numerous DNS protocol anomalies. In addition, bypass mode identified many active attacks originating from countless sources, many from locations they would have never guessed. A number of these threats were initiated by compromised computers that had not been patched with the latest Microsoft security updates, which alerted Air Liquide to revise its patching process along the way.

"It was enlightening to see what was happening on our network, and the visibility into this world of previously undetected cyber threats reassured our team that we were doing the right thing by adding intrusion prevention technology across our industrial network," shared Harper. "Top Layer's device was the only one that combined the high levels of performance with the deep packet inspection that made us comfortable with putting it in-line in our network, which simply cannot afford a minute being offline."

"The impact of cyber attacks continues to broaden in reach and severity, and hackers are now targeting industrial facilities to wreak their havoc," said Ken Pappas, security strategist at Top Layer Networks. "With safety and regulatory compliance paramount in the manufacturing sector, companies and plants need the highest levels of protection possible from this growing threat; intrusion prevention is a key layer in an effective defense-in-depth security strategy."

To that end, Air Liquide embarked on a nationwide initiative to deploy Top Layer IPS 5500 units across more than 100 sites in the U.S. Protecting the industrial network that is completely separate from the IT network proved to be a significant undertaking, but one well-worth the effort, according to Harper.

About the Top Layer IPS 5500

The IPS 5500 family of products offers the strongest levels of network protection, performance and reliability on the market today. By combining content-based IPS/IDS, stateful firewall and attack mitigation algorithms, the IPS 5500 is the only solution that provides Three Dimensional Protection (3DP) against malicious content, undesired access and botnet-based attacks. Top Layer's architecture enables the IPS 5500 to protect enterprises and service providers from sophisticated attacks in real-time while enabling the highest throughput of legitimate traffic.

The IPS 5500 E-series has received top accolades from the world's most prestigious labs and influential publications. In addition, Top Layer has received significant recognition from the NSS Group, Computer Reseller News, Information Security Magazine, IT Week, Service Provider Weekly, the Tolly Group and was awarded "Best Buy" status by SC Magazine in their 2007 review of IDS/IPS solutions as well as Best IPS Product of 2007.

About Top Layer Networks

Top Layer Networks is dedicated to its role as the leading global provider of Network Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), developing and bringing to market network security infrastructure solutions that help commercial and government organizations protect their critical on-line assets from the losses and risks associated with cyber threats. Top Layer Networks is headquartered in Massachusetts, USA with sales and services support worldwide.

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