Keep watching the cybersecurity space for more action. Already this week, I wrote about two different approaches to industrial cybersecurity. Here is the story of an investment so that a company with history can pivot and go deeper into this market segment.
PAS has been known improving alarm management and control system asset integrity. It has moved aggressively into the cybersecurity area through leveraging existing technology and hiring talent. It has announced a $40 million growth investment by Tinicum, L.P. and certain affiliated funds managed by Tinicum Incorporated (“Tinicum”). Tinicum is a private investment partnership focused on late stage investments in manufacturing, energy, technology, media, and infrastructure.
This funding round will expand PAS sales and marketing across its global offices as well as increase research and development for Cyber Integrity, its flagship cybersecurity software product. Cyber Integrity protects critical infrastructure from risks associated with rising industrial internet of things (IoT) adoption, malicious cyber attacks, and insider threats.
“Critical infrastructure is vulnerable to outsider cyber attacks and to malicious or unintended insider actions,” says Trip Zedlitz, partner at Tinicum. “The cyber assets that matter most—the ones primarily responsible for safety and production in power generation plants, chemical facilities, and refineries—are some of the most insecure systems in the industry today. We invested in PAS because they secure this class of endpoints in a way that no other ICS cybersecurity software solution in the market can do, and they help companies comply with a growing regulatory and standards landscape that includes NERC CIP, NIST, and IEC 62443. With a strong management team and the rising global demand for critical infrastructure cybersecurity, we are excited about our investment in PAS.”
Industrial control systems have a responsibility for running critical infrastructure safely and reliably. These systems have traditionally relied on complexity, air gapping, and perimeter-based defenses to remain secure. Such strategies have proven largely unreliable and porous. PAS Cyber Integrity deciphers the complex, proprietary configurations of control systems giving companies complete visibility into critical cyber assets. It also identifies unauthorized changes, exposes vulnerabilities, drives compliance, and helps facilities recover rapidly in the event of a worst-case scenario. Cyber Integrity works across the heterogeneous automation environment, providing enterprise scalability, performance, and platform independence.
“PAS has a 23-year tradition of making industrial process facilities safer and more reliable,” says Eddie Habibi, founder and CEO at PAS. “Our deep expertise in control systems and production-centric approach to securing ICS give us a formidable competitive advantage. The investment from Tinicum enables us to expand our security solutions portfolio, strategically increase our global reach, and continue protecting our customers from an ever-evolving threat landscape.”
Signal Hill served as the exclusive financial advisor to PAS on the transaction. In conjunction with the investment, Plant Automation Services, Inc. (“PAS”) has reorganized under the new name PAS Global, LLC.
Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cybersecurity risks have become so public that CEOs and Board members are sponsoring projects within their companies and raising visibility of the issue.
PAS Inc. CEO Eddie Habibi and General Manager of Cybersecurity and CMO David Zahn shared that news with me during a conversation this week regarding the release of a new version of PAS Cyber Integrity (5.0).
They further pointed out that this high-level visibility serves to push the long-promised IT/OT integration and cooperation into more meaningful relationships.
A final point concerned approaches to ICS cybersecurity. Most companies and consultants focus on the networking access side of the equation. PAS also looks at such automation assets as patch management, inventory management, and workflow.
The latest release of Cyber Integrity boasts enhanced support for workflows and security policies, automating a closed-loop patch management process, and provides enhanced dashboard capabilities. Says the company’s press release, “Cyber Integrity helps companies better mitigate operational risk from malicious attacks or inadvertent control system changes through automated inventory management, patch management, change management, and backup and recovery.”
“Patch management for today’s control systems lack critical capabilities required to help industrial organizations meet cybersecurity best practices and regulatory standards,” says Peter Reynolds, Senior Analyst at ARC Advisory Group. “Among other issues, plants often have poor visibility into which assets require patching; lack integrated processes that drive testing, implementation, or mitigation; and cannot easily access auditable evidence of a patch management process. ARC supports the development of solutions such as PAS Cyber Integrity that are designed to address these types of patch management issues in mission-critical industrial environments.”
Cyber Integrity works across the heterogeneous control environment found in plants providing enterprise scalability and performance. It enables industrial companies to:
- Gather and maintain an accurate inventory of IT and OT cyber assets,
- Automate patch processes throughout the enterprise,
- Monitor for unauthorized change to cyber asset configurations, and
- Implement a program for system backup and recovery.
The latest release also includes an entirely new dashboard that makes it easier for end users to process actionable information, as well as for management to quickly understand the state of ICS cybersecurity.
“The great contradiction within ICS cybersecurity is that the assets most valuable to plant operations and safety are often the most vulnerable,” says David Zahn, Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of the Cybersecurity Business Unit at PAS. “Inventory management and change management are essential components of a cybersecurity strategy that address this contradiction. By offering patch management within Cyber Integrity, we now provide cybersecurity and operations professionals the ability to identify, address, and audit a process that had traditionally fallen short. Along with our new dashboard, workflow, and policy capabilities, companies have everything they need to harden ICS cybersecurity and streamline compliance efforts.”
Further information can be found on the PAS blog:
“Is Your House In Order?”
“The Risk of Not Knowing”
“What Happens When You Get That Call?”