This is security day at The Manufacturing Connection. Not only do we have an implementation of CIP Security (see other post today), demand for increased protection where IT meets OT drives this decision to form a new company.

Moxa Inc., a leader in industrial communications and networking, and Trend Micro Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, have executed a letter of intent relating to the formation of a joint-venture corporation-TXOne Networks-which will focus on the security needs present in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environments, including smart manufacturing, smart city, smart energy and more.

Historically, Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) have operated within industrial organizations as isolated and independent networks with different teams, objectives and requirements. Organizations are teeming with machinery and devices that were not originally designed for connectivity to the corporate network, which means they often lack the ability to be easily updated or patched for security measures. There is a critical need to secure these devices, identify clear ongoing ownership, and to provide a holistic view across the broadening attack surface within enterprises.

Trend Micro, majority owner in TXOne Networks, identified the potential challenges faced by IIoT stakeholders early on and has been working on several fronts to secure the entire ecosystem, from data center to device. Moxa Inc. brings more than 30 years of experience in industrial networking and protocol expertise. TXOne Networks combines these strengths and responds to the growing security needs of industry, such as smart factories that require a unified solution for delivering deeper visibility into both devices and protocols. These complicated environments are made up of multiple layers requiring protection that sits in and between IT and OT. The responsibility for the security of these combined layers is traditionally unclear.

“I’m excited about this venture and how Trend Micro continues to take diverse yet focused growth steps that allow our teams to remain concentrated on core strengths while giving room to better serve customers and advance into new markets,” said Eva Chen, chief executive officer for Trend Micro. “Partnering with Moxa will combine more than 60 years of expertise to accelerate our ability to view and secure the extended enterprise including these important but often overlooked OT environments.”

TXOne Networks will build security gateways, endpoint agents and network segmentation to secure, control, and provide visibility of operational technology and equipment. Unlike some solutions focused solely on protecting assets nearest to the IT layer via detection, TXOne Networks has expertise closest to the OT layer and will provide proactive, timely and easily implemented solutions to secure the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) world.

In addition to investing intellectual capital, funds, and dedicated headcount, each parent company lends complementary channel expertise. For its part, Trend Micro brings IT channel partner strength while Moxa brings OT channel partner strength. Together these reinforce the business model and geographic territory targets. TXOne Networks will be led by Dr. Terence Liu, Trend Micro Vice President and former CEO of Broadweb. With experience building both products and teams, Dr. Liu will bring nearly 20 years of security product expertise to this new team.

“With this joint venture, Moxa and Trend Micro will position TXOne Networks as a global leader in the industry to create effective IIoT security solutions that help ensure that IIoT applications and critical infrastructures are secure,” said Andy Cheng, Strategic Business Unit President for Moxa Inc. “Industrial automation customers around the globe will be able to reap the benefits of having a holistic OT/IT security solution to protect assets and reduce operational risk.”

TXOne solutions also will enable OT customers to optimize network infrastructure for more IIoT opportunities. They will benefit from Moxa’s expertise in building reliable networks to bring more legacy and disparate networks into on industry-grade Ethernet backbone and raising the security level of the entire network’s communication to help drive nonstop productivity and cost reduction. Professional services will also be provided including security risk assessment, security breach response, and access to threat intelligence from Trend Micro Research and its Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).

“In a world where attacks are getting more persistent and sophisticated, while organizations are struggling with skills shortage and alert fatigue, these two groups are joining forces to successfully secure enterprises around the globe,” said Dr. Terence Liu, General Manager, TXOne Networks. “I am eager to pursue the opportunities and challenges this team will tackle in the months and years to come.”

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