Check Point's tiny 1200R could be the toughest firewall on the planet

SCADA security box can withstand temperatures of -40°C to 75°C

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Is this the toughest small firewall-gateway on the planet? Check Point thinks its new 1200R is a contender for the title because it can withstand installation in incredibly hot, cold, dusty and humid environments such as power stations, sub-stations and factory floors.

Security equipment designed to protect SCADA and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) systems from attack is nothing new but most designs are designed for use in conventional IT rooms or data centres of the sort that sit between such systems and the Internet.  

The 1200R is a gateway firewall that can be located closer to the systems themselves, useful in certain types of networks, featuring six Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2Gbps throughput via a copper or fibre WAN connection.

Other security layers  supported (integrated with other Check Point equipment) include IPS, anti-malware, anti-bot, application monitoring and VPN handling with a capacity of up to 400,000 concurrent sessions.

However the 1200R’s star attraction will be its thick, heat-dissipating steel skin and resistance to incursion by dust and moisture as well as ability to resist vibration and electromagnetic interference. The appliance is rated to withstand incredible temperatures between -40°C to 75°C, way beyond the operation of any conventional equipment let alone the human beings tending them.

Surprisingly, there is no fan to cool the system nor any other moving parts though the unit is also  small and compact and weighs only 1.2Kg.

The unit supports a range of SCADA protocols including BACNet, DNP3, IEC-60870-5-104, IEC 60870-6 (ICCP), IEC 61850, MMS, Modbus, OPC, Profinet, S7 (Siemens). This allowed ‘forensic’ analysis of command issued on these interfaces to detect and analyse possible attacks.

“ICS protection is not to be taken lightly. Once cybercriminals gain access to a control system, damage is inevitable,” said Check Point vice president of products, Dorit Dor.

“The result of an ICS breach will be devastating - and it’s not a question of if it happens, but when it happens, which is why Check Point is dedicated to proactively protecting ICS to prevent such catastrophic events.”

An early customer had been Canadian energy utility, Newfoundland Power, which was concerned to protect what remain were sensitive assets.  

“Check Point offers protection to our wide ranging assets by providing the capability to securely connect assets located over a large geographic area in less than ideal locations,” said  Newfoundland Infrastructure Analyst Power, Shawn Kearley.

The ruggedness of the 1200R made it possible to put a multi-purpose gateway on site.

Check point hasn’t quoted a price for the appliance but it is available to order now.