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Secure and Scalable Remote Access Tunnels for the IIoT: An Assessment of openVPN and IPSec Performance

Frederic Pohl; Hans Dieter Schotten
In: Flavio De Paoli; Stefan Schulte; Einar Broch Johnsen (Hrsg.). Service-Oriented and Cloud Computing. European Conference on Service-Oriented and Cloud Computing (ESOCC-17), 6th IFIP WG 2.14 European Conference, September 27-29, Oslo, Norway, Pages 83-90, LNCS, Vol. 10465, ISBN 978-3-319-67261-8, Springer, 2017.


Nowadays, industrial production already benefits from an increased level of interconnection involving various heterogeneous production assets. Future development in the area is likely to lead to a scenario often referred to as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a promising factor in achieving unseen productivity goals. One of the key IIoT use cases is remote access, which can drastically reduce the requirement for on-site presence of technicians and thus eliminate a large cost factor. In this paper, we present a detailed examination of two widespread Virtual Private Network (VPN) remote access frameworks and analyse their suitability for IIoT remote access facilities. We introduce a cloud architecture that seamlessly integrates with existing highly segmented and firewalled industrial networks, yet providing secure connectivity through the use of openVPN and IPsec technology. With scalability being a key factor for a cloud architecture, we give an analysis of our favoured protocols in order to derive potential performance bottlenecks. We finally verify our assumptions by providing empirical performance measurements.