Nextnine and SecurityMatters improve ICS cybersecurity

Merging IT networks with OT (operational technology) infrastructure creates cybersecurity risks - image courtesy of AS
Merging IT networks with OT (operational technology) infrastructure creates cybersecurity risks - image courtesy of AS.

Smart manufacturing through connected operations has created many benefits for manufacturers. The analytics on large volumes of operational data are now being used to improve output and productivity as well as for better safety and preventative maintenance.

However, connected operations involves merging IT networks with OT (operational technology) infrastructure and this merger exposes manufacturers to a new set of cybersecurity risks.

Nextnine is helping manufacturers deal with the new cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with connected operations through its ICS Shield solution. The company describes ICS Shield as an OT security management solution for connected industrial control system (ICS) environments. For manufacturers, ICS Shield can serve as a security and operations centre for enforcing organisational security policies and facilitating the cyber-hardening of an industrial network.

Shmulik Aran, CEO, NextNine - image courtesy of NextNine
Shmulik Aran, CEO, NextNine – image courtesy of NextNine

“Our ICS Shield solution provides a holistic approach for manufacturers to minimise the risks of connected operations with a focus on the security essentials, such as secure remote access for multiple third parties, updating patches and antivirus signatures, compliance reporting or even simply creating an inventory of operational assets,” said Shmulik Aran, Nextnine’s CEO.

Nextnine recently entered into an OEM agreement with SecurityMatters in order to add industrial anomaly detection capabilities into the ICS Shield solution. According to a statement issued by the two companies, the integration of SecurityMatters’ SilentDefense technology into ICS Shield adds continuous network monitoring capabilities with augmented passive discovery and the ability to detect anomalies and inefficiencies. The SilentDefense technology improves the ability of ICS Shield to learn and validate network communication patterns and process operations with in-depth analysis of industrial protocols. It also enables rogue and malfunctioning devices, intrusions and attacks to be identified.

“Our OEM partnership with SecurityMatters widens the competencies of our ICS Shield solution,” stated Aran. “Through the integration of SecurityMatters’ SilentDefense technology, we can now passively build a comprehensive inventory and baseline picture of the ICS network, including the PLCs, and quickly identify inefficiencies, anomalies traffic patterns and misuse or abuse of  communication.”

“Our work with Nextnine allows asset owners, vendors and service providers to securely access assets and promptly remediate any potentially disruptive incidents once an anomaly has been detected by SilentDefense,” said Damiano Bolzoni, CEO of SecurityMatters. “With over 6,000 installations at plants around the world, Nextnine’s solution is clearly two and three steps ahead of the many new vendors that have recently entered the OT and industrial security space and the company has built over the years an impressive network of prominent MSSP, system integrator and automation vendor partners”.