Unidirectional gateways: Not your grandma’s data diode

Waterfall’s Unidirectional Security Gateways, which allow for disciplined control and protect the safety and reliability of OT systems, are sometimes referred to as “data diodes” by security practitioners. However, there are big differences between the two technologies. Data diodes (historically used in a military or defense context) and unidirectional gateways differ in terms of hardware, the strength of the unidirectional protection offered, the breadth of software, the wide array of functionality and supported use cases, as well as in the array of industrial systems supported.


Waterfall’s Unidirectional Gateways products lead the field of industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity protection. Unidirectional Gateways are a modern evolution of data diode technology offering a both 100% protection from remote cyber threats, disciplined control, and real-time visibility into OT networks. The gateways offer a combination of hardware and software – the hardware is physically able to transmit information in only one direction, and the software makes copies of servers and emulates devices for enterprise users. Unidirectional Gateways have been deployed at industrial sites for over a decade for safe IT/OT integration, enabling enterprises to monitor industrial control system (ICS) networks without exposing those networks to cyber threats.

Continue reading to explore the difference between data diodes and Unidirectional Gateway technologies and learn how Waterfall Security Solutions’ family of Unidirectional Security Gateway products is advancing the state-of-the-art cybersecurity for stronger-than-firewall protections for OT networks.

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