Siemens AG

Management platform enables secure and simple remote access

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Source: Siemens AG

Nuremberg -- Sinema Remote Connect is a management platform supplied by Siemens for efficient and secure remote access to globally distributed machines and plants. The server application simplifies not only remote services, such as the remote maintenance of machines and plants, but also other remote applications, such as condition monitoring. Sinema Remote Connect manages and authorizes all communication connections. The management platform is particularly suitable for standard and special-purpose machine building, as it enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to uniquely identify and control many identical machines at different customer locations.

Sinema Remote Connect ensures the secure administration of VPN tunnels between the control center, service engineers and the installed plants. Service engineers and the machines to be maintained each establish an independent connection to Sinema Remote Connect. The management platform then verifies the identity of the individual stations by an exchange of certificates, before any access to the machine is granted. Any unauthorized access to the corporate networks in which the plants or machines operate is prevented, thus increasing security. The VPN tunnel connections are certificate-based in accordance with the OpenVPN standard and are protected with up to 4096-bit encryption. The allocation of rights for access to machines can be centrally regulated using the management platform's simple user administration feature. All stations are enabled or blocked manually, so that the customers of the OEMs, the plant operators, also have permanent control over every attempt to access their corporate network.

All machines can be uniquely identified and selected via Sinema Remote Connect – even if they have identical local IP addresses – by means of an integrated address book function. The VPN connections can then be established with a simple mouse click. Sinema Remote Connect is protocol-independent. This means that users can use different applications, such as the Simatic Step 7 programming software (TIA Portal), for remote maintenance as soon as the connection to the machine has been established.

Machines can be connected to Sinema Remote Connect via cellular phone networks, DSL or existing private network infrastructures. Siemens offers a wide portfolio of industrial routers from the Scalance series, such as the Scalance S615, for this purpose. These devices can easily be parameterized via Sinema Remote Connect using an auto-configuration interface. All the information about the respective machines can be stored in the management platform, meaning that the routers only have to be registered once in Sinema Remote Connect, after which all configuration data is assigned to them. This eliminates the otherwise time-consuming programming of the devices.

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