3 Things to Know About MSA’s FieldServer Dual Ethernet Port

November 8, 2021
Richard Theron

Connectivity is essential to a safer, more reliable, and cost-effective Building Automation System (BAS). But as you’re planning for your facility’s future, how concerned are you about security in a world marked by frequent cyberattacks, data breaches, and network threats?

Keep reading to find out what the FieldServer Dual Ethernet Port can do to enable a better, more secure way to integrate, advance, and connect your automation systems.

Comes Equipped with FieldSafe

Local networks, VPN, proxy tunnel, and cloud connectivity all need protected from hacks, breaches, and attacks. So, we have a saying around here: The internet is not always safe – so FieldServer is.

That’s why every FieldServer gateway (including our Dual Ethernet Port series) includes the MSA FieldSafe feature set.

FieldSafe delivers device security at multiple levels, including:

  • Enabling HTTPS secure connections
  • Complying with strict IoT safety standards
  • Passing demanding third-party penetration tests for our gateway hardware and the SMC Cloud

So, whether you need to ensure secure remote access for work-from-home employees or thwart a potential threat from something as seemingly innocuous as, say, an outside vendor’s laptop or company video camera, FieldSafe automatically helps protect your data and credentials – on your networks and to the Cloud.

Includes Two Serial Ports + Two Ethernet Ports

Like our other gateways, the Dual Ethernet Port has two serial ports. What makes this series unique, however, is that we added two 10/100BaseT ports: one for the LAN (controller network) and the other for the WAN (internet or company network), giving you a total of four connections with just one gateway.

This unique design of our Dual Ethernet Port lets you connect two subnets together with different protocols. For example, the first subnet could be a BACnet/IP while the second one could be a Modbus TCP/IP.

This dual port configuration eliminates the need to add expensive and space-hogging switches when going from an ethernet-based device or controller to the LAN. Simply plug the controller into the first port (LAN) on the gateway and then plug it into the BAS network. Done.

Reduces the Risk of Exposure

The Dual Ethernet Port also reduces the risk of exposure by limiting the available data on the network. While one subnet contains all possible data, the second subnet contains a reduced, as-needed set of data.

Other security features include:

  • Physical separation: Creates a physical layer between the LAN and WAN while still enabling secure cloud connectivity
  • Routing: Allows connections only from specifically designated subnets
  • Firewall: Enables outgoing internet connection while blocking incoming proxy tunnel or VPN connections
  • Usage parameters: Includes rigorous password requirements, credentials encryption, and varying levels of user access

Read this case study to learn how the one-two punch of security plus functionality of our FieldServer Dual Ethernet Port gateway helped a major air cargo organization achieve its goal: a single gateway solution that simplified IP network connections approvals and ongoing maintenance.

Conclusion

From building and industrial automation to data centers, life safety, and cloud, how functional, flexible, and secure are your connections? For expert guidance on developing a connectivity strategy and to learn more about the benefits of a FieldServer Dual Ethernet Port gateway, please contact us.

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Richard Theron
Richard Theron is the product line manager for FieldServer at MSA, where he works intimately with companies in the building automation, industrial automation, energy management and life safety markets to help them cloud-enable their equipment.

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