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Stronger Security For Your Narrowband Router

  • October 18, 2016
  • Kristy C.
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Keeping networks secure is a hot topic these days. It almost seems like a weekly news story – another organization has their network hacked. While no system is a 100% “hack-proof,” you can make your company and systems a harder target. If you utilize (licensed, UHF, or VHF) narrowband routers for communications, one way to limit access is having devices with secure remote logins.

Similar to protecting your house, such as installing motion sensor lighting, you can add security to the various layers of your communications system to reduce the risk of attack or stolen information. For public safety or utility organizations, one key component is your bridge or router. Protection comes from not only the processes and connections, but the devices as well.

For example, the energy industry is taking steps to tighten the security loopholes for this critical part of the U.S. infrastructure. In 2014, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) introduced its latest Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards or CIP Version 5 (CIP v5 for short). This update was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and all entities must comply.

This required update is to strengthen processes for managing (and access to) critical infrastructure. It includes items from physical security to secure remote logins. Under Security Management Controls, Securing The Human notes that Critical Control 10 is “Secure configurations for network devices such as firewalls, routers, and switches.” (See the complete chart if you want more details.)

In light of NERC and security trends in general, CalAmp is taking another step to provide secure solutions that can help you meet some of the updated NERC requirements (and other industries’ needs). In July, Mocana’s OEM software was selected to add another layer of security to CalAmp’s hardware. You may read the release here.

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Now, the Viper line of private radio and narrowband equipment is adding support for HTTPS and SSH. These devices provide endpoint access to your communication system so it’s imperative to protect them from nefarious remote logins. By using HTTPS* on your router’s remote administration your login credentials will be encrypted. A HTTP connection allows your password to transmit openly which means that if someone is monitoring the system, they can see it clearly.

SSH, or Secure Shell, is a secure way to access your hosting account remotely. SSH is a secure update from Telnet (and other protocols) and operates with the same user/password combination. It can be used with your existing shell or telnet servers in case you need to upgrade in stages.

If you’re serious about secure communications for your network, it’s time to upgrade your hardware. As a pure-play pioneer, CalAmp is ready to help you keep your lines of communication open and behind secure protocols. Browse our Viper line here.

*HTTPS or HyperText Transport Protocol Secure is HTTP Secure which encrypts and decrypts user page requests. It authenticates the visited website and protects the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.