Many may think that data diodes are expensive, but the truth is that they are a simple and effective solution for protecting your most important information or systems – assets that would ultimately cost more to lose control of during a cyberattack. In this blog post, we will explain how data diodes are a valuable investment that will keep your most sensitive information secure in the long run!
Alternative ways of working may cost more long-term
A data diode is a very simple cybersecurity solution with high assurance that ensures unidirectional information exchange. This high assurance hardware device maintains either network integrity by preventing intrusion, or network confidentiality by protecting the most security sensitive information. A high assurance data diode protects assets for operators within critical infrastructure (ICS/SCADA) and defence industries.
An alternative to using data diodes is to use an airgap. Air gap, air wall, air gapping, or isolated network is a network security measure used on one or more computers to ensure that a secure computer network is physically isolated from other networks, such as the public Internet or an insecure local area network. This means that a computer or network has no network interfaces connected to other networks. It is thus network-wise isolated from other systems connected to unsecured networks.
The only way to transfer data to and from an air gapped system is via portable media – sometimes called a “walknet”. Practically, this is done by people, which means you become dependent on well-trained staff who would probably rather be working on other more qualified and stimulating tasks. But even well-trained personnel with a high security awareness can unfortunately also make mistakes or take shortcuts, which despite all security measures exposes the systems to risks, e.g. that you get malware into your system.
In the long run, it can therefore be smoother and more cost-effective to use a data diode, as you both avoid these risks and that well-trained personnel have to spend time transferring data with portable media. Read more about how data diodes are an effective alternative to airgaps!
A data diode costs money – but a cyberattack costs more
Buying hardware usually costs more than for example software, but it has much higher assurance which means that you can be more confident that your assets are well protected. It is more accurate to think of a data diode as an investment rather than a cost as it is a very simple way to protect your most important and valuable assets against expensive cyberattacks. An attack can be very expensive, for example you can lose money due to:
- Downtime affecting your operations
- Lost revenue
- Restoring and cleaning up systems
- Lost trust/goodwill
An average cyberattack in 2021 could cost around USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million. So, protecting yourself against this is more than important. It is vital.
Many might think “We have our firewall, what else can we do?”. But, if you have information or systems that are crucial to your organisation, perhaps your whole operation depends on it, you may find it appropriate to mitigate your risks and invest in a high security solution. Many networks require extra protection against manipulation and data leakage as they contain classified or sensitive information. If these networks/systems are exposed to an attack, a firewall will probably not protect you from having to spend a lot to recover. Ask your management if they are prepared to pay what it takes to repair your systems after a cyberattack rather than invest in adequate security – because it is not a matter of if you will be attacked, but when.
Why do some data diodes cost more than others?
There are different types of data diodes with different functions, which also means that the costs can vary. Advenica’s portfolio consists of data diodes of different types, ranging from small DIN mounted devices to 19” rack mounted devices. You can choose from having proxy computers integrated in the diode chassis or purchasing a simpler data diode device and deploying the proxy software in external proxy machines.
Read more about Advenica’s data diodes!
Something else that can affect the price is if the data diode is certified. Advenica’s data diodes have a unique certification, N3, in Sweden – Advenica are the only ones with this certification level in Sweden. N3 is a certification issued by the Swedish Armed Forces. Advenica’s data diodes DD1000A and DD1000i are approved by the Swedish Armed Forces at component assurance level N3, which e.g. handles data up to and including level KVALIFICERAT HEMLIGT/TOP SECRET according to the Swedish Armed Forces’ “Krav på säkerhetsfunktioner” (KSF). So, a potentially higher cost for a data diode with a high certification will also give you much higher security.
Do you want to know more about our data diodes? Do not hesitate to contact us!