A cybersecurity solution designed to protect industrial operators against new and emerging universal serial bus (USB) threats has been released by Honeywell. Secure Media Exchange (SMX) includes capabilities to protect against malicious USB device attacks. Such attacks disrupt operations through misuse of legitimate USB functions or unauthorized device actions.

USB devices include flash drives and charging cables as well as USB-attached devices. They represent a primary attack vector into industrial control system (ICS) environments. Many existing security controls typically focus on the detection of malware on these USBs.

The USB protection features complement other SMX enhancements to malware detection that utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve detection by up to 40 percent above traditional antivirus solutions, according to a Honeywell study. Together, the updates are intended to provide comprehensive, enterprise-wide USB protection, visibility and control to meet the physical requirements of industrial environments.