Introducing Velta Technology–Cyber Risk Management

Craig Duckworth, President and Co-Founder of Velta Technology, spoke with me shortly before I left for two conferences. I’m catching up, slowly. You may not have heard of Velta Technology. It’s just four years old. They are trying to find a niche within the cybersecurity market without being just another packet sniffing or intrusion detection company.

The company doesn’t sell just one product family. It relies on working with partners such as Claroty and Cisco to bring solutions to customers. It is comprised of multi-disciplinary industrial manufacturing and critical infrastructure experts. “We understand the differences between industrial and IT infrastructures, as well as the toolsets required to secure them.” In this regard, they are one of the companies attempting to bring IT and OT to the same table.

“Our experience and partnerships with the world’s leading solution providers in the industrial space allow us to integrate cybersecurity solutions with existing technologies. We bridge the gap in expertise and understanding from industrial assets on the plant floor across to the enterprise.”

Much of our conversation focused on risk. He talked about the role of the customer company’s board of directors as the key leadership element in focusing management on cybersecurity in order to mitigate risks of cyber intrusions. Velta works with customers to implement solutions to retrieve data and organize risk. They recognize that many IT trusted tools simply are not effective or even possible in the operations environment.

Here’s a summary of the company’s offering:

  • Technology & Tools
  • End-to-End Protection
  • Industrial Hardened Platforms : Appliances, Enclosures, Networking
  • Continuous Monitoring : Ability to see real time performance and threats
  • Secure Remote Access : With full Audit Tracking and Controls
  • Industrial Endpoint Protection : The definitive protection in the industry
  • Connected Devices Vulnerability Index (CDV Index): Identify your supply chain risks

Solutions

  • Visibility & Digital Safety
  • Velta Technology Visibility Program : Real-time visibility into the assets in your industrial environment, behavior anomalies, security threats and vulnerabilities. More than simply a moment-in-time Risk Assessment.
  • Velta Technology Digital Safety Standards : A continuous improvement methodology that supports protection of industrial assets. Covers everything from cybersecurity threats to process integrity issues that can impact environmental and human harm.

Services

  • Service and Support Options
  • Strategy & Advisory Support : Recommendations, designs and roadmaps to navigate safety maturity for industrial asset networks.
  • Deployment : From onsite Basic installation and configuration to Enhanced assistance for a full year.
  • Operationalize : Build programs for existing or new platforms to improve value and mitigation in your local environment
  • Managed Services : Basic/Standard/Premier options to deliver full-platform and resources for your organization.

 

Return of the Large Trade Show

IMTS / Hannover Messe invaded Chicago this week. I drove down a couple of days. It was huge. Booths populated all four halls. I did not see everything. Or even half.

Hannover Messe (in Chicago) has co-located for the past three or four events. As in the past, the automation / Hannover Messe part encompassed a few aisles in the East hall.

I’ll have more news items in the next post.

Best of what I saw:

Nokia. What?! I was approached for an appointment. I said yes figuring on a 5G private network discussion. I was partly right.

Let me back up for context.

  • Enterprises crave data to feed their information systems.
  • Data from industrial / manufacturing operations were bottled in isolated, siloed systems
  • Networking became robust
  • Interoperable protocols grew
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) became a thing
  • Suddenly data could go where and when needed

Solutions.

  • Automation vendors claimed connectivity to enterprise but that fell short
  • IT suppliers, supporters of the enterprise, tried to enter the market with gateways, networking, partnerships and ecosystems to get the data.
  • They couldn’t find the formula to sell to manufacturing (known as OT)
  • We have gateways, databases, networking, but still no enterprise solution

Nokia.

  • Builds off networking technology which has progressed to 5G Private Networks
  • Has added edge compute devices
  • Partnership with PTC (Kepware / Thingworx) for software connectivity
  • Attacking this open market from a new perspective–both the enterprise IT side and the operations OT side

I am not predicting success. I never do. What I love about trade shows is finding this nugget of original thinking cloaked in the mundane. They have the foundation. Can they sell?

Check out this page on the Nokia site.

Identify Data Sets With Orphaned Data Enabling Appropriate Actions

Steve Leeper, VP Systems Engineering and Marketing, and Carl D’Halluin, Chief Technology Officer of Datadobi, met with me recently to discuss data, unstructured data management, data migration, the company, and those poor little orphaned files and data left in storage long after they had useful life.

I’ve been writing about the company’s products for about two years. Datadobi is about to celebrate its 13th birthday. Organically funded, management expects it to be around for some time to come.

The occasion of this conversation was release 6.2 and an upgrade to the recently announced StorageMAP product—a multi-vendor, multi-cloud data management platform with the introduction of capabilities to discover and remediate orphaned data.

Orphaned data is owned by employees of a company that are inactive but still enabled on an organization’s network or systems. These datasets, which can amount to a significant part of a company’s total data stored, represent risk and cost to every organization. Any enterprise with a large employee base, normal to high attrition rates, or undertaking merger and acquisition (M&A) activities will be vulnerable to orphaned data. Orphaned data is mostly not of value to the organization and creates liability due to its unknown content. Eliminating orphaned data enables IT leaders to reduce cost, lower carbon footprint, and lower risk while maximizing value out of relevant unstructured data used by active users.

With the new capabilities, StorageMAP can identify data sets with high amounts of orphaned data, allowing IT leaders to group and organize the data independent of the business organization. The orphaned datasets can then be migrated, archived to a lower-cost platform, or deleted by StorageMAP. The platform provides an easy-to-read, granular report on the top users with orphaned data and for additional detail, a search function allows targeted searches to be executed across part of or the entire data estate.

The 6.2 release comes after Datadobi launched its StorageMAP platform earlier this year. StorageMAP provides a single pane of glass for organizations to manage unstructured data across their complete data storage estate on-premises and in the cloud. This latest update enables IT leaders to fully take control of orphaned data on their networks.

“Due to the scale and complexity of unstructured data in today’s heterogeneous storage environments, enterprises can easily lose track of orphaned data within networks and open themselves up to excess storage costs and risk,” said Carl D’Halluin, CTO, Datadobi. “StorageMAP’s new capabilities allow for a seamless experience identifying and taking the appropriate action on orphaned data to give IT leaders peace of mind.”

“As data proliferation continues, IT leaders are going to see more orphaned data on their networks. This is why it is so important that organizations turn to unstructured data management solutions like StorageMAP to find datasets associated with inactive users and take the appropriate action,” said Craig Ledo, IT Validation Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). “Combined with a high level of cross-vendor knowledge, years of real-life experience, and great customer support, enterprises can let StorageMAP do the heavy lifting when it comes to orphaned data.”

AVEVA Launches 2023 Operations Control Software

This news has been out a little while. I was holding off for an interview, but we could not connect. Through a long and torturous history over the past 15 years, AVEVA’s software cloak has been pieced together from many cloths. I have met executives from a few companies in the past who assured me bringing all their software acquisitions was easy. It’s not. This release discusses how AVEVA is progressing on its journey of integrating all of its industrial software.

AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, driving digital transformation and sustainability, has launched the 2023 release of its operations control software, the first major coordinated release of its HMI/SCADA software portfolio, available in both perpetual and subscription purchases. The new release further supports the delivery of AVEVA Operations Control, a flexible, subscription-based solution of integrated capabilities that promotes greater efficiency and workforce collaboration at the scale that best suits the business.

And, just what is Operations Control? Sounds like something from a vision I heard many years ago at a previous iteration of the company.

AVEVA Operations Control simplifies day-to-day routines of teams by aligning workers around common digital threads of information. It includes visualization technologies, analytics and development tools deployed within a hybrid cloud and on-premises environment. Not only can critical information be retrieved faster, but inbuilt flexibility provides greater scaling – of data, users, or routes to revealing the correct decision. 

“Digital technologies now comprise the beating heart of industrial enterprises. But operations teams do not yet have the ability to contextualize decisions within a cohesive and sustainable framework. AVEVA Operations Control leverages this information environment with a comprehensive set of applications that empowers users from edge to enterprise with real-time visibility of critical processes in every industry,” says Rashesh Mody, Executive Vice President – Operations Business, AVEVA. 

This release consists of updates in the following offerings: AVEVA System Platform 2023, AVEVA InTouch HMI 2023, AVEVA Edge 2023, AVEVA Plant SCADA 2023, AVEVA Historian 2023, AVEVA Communication Drivers 2023, AVEVA Reports for Operations 2023, AVEVA Development Studio, and AVEVA Teamwork.

The 2023 operations control software release is available through several procurement methods, including AVEVA Flex, the advanced industrial software subscription program. Customers can choose individual software offers within the operations control portfolio or realize new transformational value with end to end visibility across operations by subscribing to AVEVA’s broad portfolio through AVEVA Operations Control.  AVEVA Operations Control removes traditional limitations on implementation by including unlimited software usage (measured by the number of users) and offering maximum commercial flexibility.  

TeamViewer and Siemens Partner with Augmented and Mixed Reality Solutions

We hear about Augmented Reality constantly. Today MIT Technology Review’s newsletter predicted we will all be wearing AR glasses someday. [I doubt it.]

I’ve demoed many AR manufacturing solutions. They show promise, but the promise can’t jump the hurdle of practicality. We’ll see how the results of this partnership of Siemens and TeamViewer fares.

TeamViewer, a leading global provider of remote connectivity and workplace digitalization solutions, announced a strategic partnership with Siemens Digital Industries Software to bring TeamViewer’s enterprise AR platform Frontline to Siemens’ Teamcenter software, a leading Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution from the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio. This collaboration allows Siemens’ global customers to improve their product development process based on immersive experiences with interactive, 3D content connected to the digital twin of a product. The 3D models of products can be easily modified, enabling more teams across the product lifecycle to collaborate and thus driving more informed product decisions and innovation.

The Spatial module within TeamViewer’s enterprise AR platform Frontline enables employees wearing Mixed Reality smart glasses such as the Microsoft HoloLens to execute tasks in a more intuitive, interactive way by providing them with digital information, three-dimensional elements and multimedia content in an Augmented or Mixed Reality environment. Virtual information or holograms are placed on top of objects in the real world to enrich each employee’s reality for visual process guidance. Thanks to the built-in no code editor, process owners can easily manage and update the underlying workflows without including their IT department, for example create digital twins from CAD model data.

MESA Turns 30

We are excited to announce that 2022 marks MESA’s 30th anniversary! On August 21,1992, a group of manufacturing technology luminaries gathered to form a membership society, and MESA members have been delivering excellence around what is now known as smart manufacturing ever since!  Thank you for helping us achieve this milestone, we look forward to celebrating with you over the coming months! 

I began a journey into software in the late 70s with RPG (for the IBM mini-computer of the time), BASIC, Pascal, and assembly. My boss at the time had a vision for using software and sent me to IBM training to install a 1978-version MRP II application–an early MES.

I’ve donated many hours to the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (Manufacturing Execution Systems Association) over the past 17 years or so. They have added a lot of thought leadership to Smart Manufacturing. Congratulations for surviving 30 years.