UL Unveils Framework For Certifying Resiliency Of Network, Data Center Products

UL recently announced the release of a new framework for certifying the resiliency of network and data center products. UL 2825 marks the first deliverable in response to recently introduced U.S. legislation requiring independent certification of network and security-related product performance and protection.

New IT security legislation introduced in the state of Texas enacted an IT infrastructure resiliency law in 2010 designed to hold IT device manufacturers accountable for product claims through an independent and thorough validation certification process. Pending legislation in several other states, as well as possible attention at the U.S. federal government level, will require independent resiliency certification of network and security products.

UL 2825 sets standard requirements by which network infrastructure devices are evaluated against published vulnerabilities that affect a particular device.  The device is expected to continue to operate as intended while subjected to exploits of published vulnerabilities.  In order to accomplish this, UL has standardized on BreakingPoint cyber tomography machines (CTMs) when testing and certifying IT devices against the UL 2825 framework.

"The world faces a new type of safety threat designed to exploit weaknesses inherent in deployed IT equipment, potentially undermining the public's trust in these devices," stated Bob Jamieson, UL's Commercial Director of Operations, Life Safety & Security industries.  "UL, as a benchmark of trust, has worked with industry and with safety stakeholders to publish an appropriate framework for testing a device's resiliency.  Additionally, after carefully evaluating companies and products necessary to perform the appropriate testing to UL 2825, we felt that BreakingPoint provided the product, solutions and cyber security experience to best meet our needs."

To achieve UL 2825 certification, network and data center devices must undergo a battery of assessments that closely mirror the high stress conditions seen in production networks.  Using the BreakingPoint line of cyber tomography machines, UL will assault these devices with Internet-scale network conditions including high-stress user load and real-world application traffic and live security attacks updated on a monthly basis.  UL will then measure the resiliency of the IT devices, as compared to the manufacturer's published metrics, and should the devices meet the appropriate requirements, publicize certification results for use by state and federal governments, enterprises, service providers and consumers.

This system of evaluation is ideal for equipment manufacturers to certify the resiliency of all products, as well as each time that product undergoes an update.  UL 2825 covers servers, routers, firewalls, universal threat management (UTM) devices, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and converged network server equipment.

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