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Simplifying implementation and management of secure and reliable networks

12 June 2018

Westermo has enhanced its WeConfig network configuration tool, helping to further simplify the configuration and management of secure and resilient networks.

Data communication networks critical to manufacturing, utilities and transport infrastructure are becoming increasingly complex and must meet greater security and reliability requirements.

For networks constructed using devices powered by Westermo’s WEoS network operating system, WeConfig version 1.8 makes network configuration more efficient, simple and reliable. This is achieved by automating tasks, performing bulk updates and preventing configuration errors. Supporting simpler network deployment, WeConfig now enables configuration and licence management of ring networks that use the MRP (Media Redundancy Protocol). CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing) notation simplifies IP address management, enabling basic allocation and global parameter settings to be quickly assigned and further configuration easily facilitated. WeConfig 1.8 also enables CLI scripts to be sent to devices in a network, allowing more advanced device features to be configured through WeConfig.

WeConfig also optimises network security and supports hassle-free implementation of an additional cyber security layer. WeConfig enables the user to configure and maintain cyber security features available in WeOS. Spoofing protection features such as MAC address filters and IEEE802.1x authentication parameters can be easily deployed and maintained. With the latest version of WeConfig, MAC filters can be used to scan a specific section of the network, helping to save time. It is also possible to scan and harden switches with factory default passwords or switches that use unsecure protocols. This functionality has been enhanced to enable a subset of switches to be hardened instead of a complete network, increasing usability. Cyber security reports that provide a summary of all security-related information for each device on the network, including any firewall settings, can be easily created using WeConfig 1.8.

Ongoing maintenance is improved by diagnosing issues and underperforming sections of a network. To analyse network performance and identify potential instability, SHDSL diagnostics can monitor signal-to-noise ratio on multiple lines to WeOS-managed devices. For rail trackside applications, where electrical noise varies over time, a suitable data rate can be selected to ensure stable communications. This reduces costly call-outs due to communications failures. For large networks, which may have parts that need to be managed differently, WeConfig uses layer topology to both configure and manage the sections like logical islands.

Complementing the SHDSL diagnostics, WeConfig 1.8 can now be set up to run multiple diagnostics simultaneously to monitor parameters such as device and port temperature, CPU-load and PoE power. Manual or periodic back-up of all the device configuration files can be easily generated and stored. Should a switch or router need to be replaced, an optimised ‘copy and paste’ function allows the configuration of a previous device to be easily implemented on the replacement unit. By offering support for the Syslog protocol, which allows network devices to send event messages, WeConfig 1.8 provides users with an additional real-time diagnostic capability.

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