Verve Industrial Enhances Partnership with VMware Carbon Black

CHICAGOMarch 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Verve Industrial is proud to announce a strategic partnership to integrate VMware Carbon Black App Control into the Verve Security Center for stronger OT endpoint protection and management.

VMware Carbon Black App Control is an industry-leading application control product, used to lock down servers and critical systems, prevent unwanted changes and enable continuous compliance with regulatory mandates. Integration into the Verve Security Center (VSC) brings cyber awareness data for quick analysis of cyber threats in ICS environments.

 

See the integration in action in this demo video or read more about the VMware Carbon Black / Verve Industrial partnership.

Verve Industrial Protection Named Top Cybersecurity Solution in 2020

CHICAGOFeb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Verve Industrial Protection is thrilled to be recognized as a best-in-class OT cybersecurity solution in the 2020 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards. The Verve Security Center (VSC) received Gold Awards in each category it was nominated: ICS/SCADA, Vulnerability Management, Integrated Risk Management, and Security Management.

cybersecurity excellence gold winner 2020

Read the full press release to understand why the Verve Security Center was recognized as the best cyber security solution for these four categories.

Verve’s OT Cyber Security Solution: A Quarter Century in Review

In 2020, Verve Industrial celebrates our 25th year in business. We are reflective of this quarter-century mark and thankful to our clients, teammates and partners as we embark on the second quarter of our hundred-year journey.

The results of this evolution have been nothing short of astounding. Just in the past year alone, Verve has:

  • increased our new customer introduction by 5x
  • expanded assets under management by 3x
  • helped clients remediate tens of thousands of vulnerabilities and configuration errors, at least doubling their cyber security maturity
  • all leading to an increase in bookings of 3x

Read the full post to learn about Verve’s evolution in ICS and what we attribute our growth to.

Verve Industrial Protection Announces Partnership with MxD, the US DOD’s Hub for Manufacturing Cyber Security

Verve Industrial Protection announced they have partnered with MxD, the US Department of Defense Hub for Cyber Security in Manufacturing to help accelerate the maturity of cyber security across the manufacturing supply chain.

MxD is the result of a public-private partnership to advance the US position in digital manufacturing. Since 2017, the institute with funding from the DOD has developed an initial roadmap, begun pilots with several small and medium manufacturers, and leveraged its unique manufacturing testbed to further develop manufacturing cyber security.

Read more about the partnership between Verve Industrial and MxD here.

Verve Industrial Protection – Announces Release of Version 7.0 The Next Phase in the Evolution of Operational Technology Systems Management (OTSM)

CHICAGOApril 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Verve Industrial Protection, the global leader in operational technology (OT) cybersecurity, today announced the release of version 7.0 of its flagship product, the Verve Security Center (VSC).  This release is a reflection of growing client demand to:

  1. Integrate IT/OT cyber security, delivering similar IT system security management safely into OT environments.
  2. Reduce operational gaps between vulnerability/threat detection and remediation/response.
  3. Enable risk management and remediation prioritization by understanding an asset’s full risk context such as criticality and compensating controls.
  4. Reduce the time/cost of network segmentation efforts with empirical data on inventory, flows, and endpoint risks.
  5. Simplify and improve OT security by integrating operational data (DCS alarms, asset performance etc.) into a single, aggregated dashboard for ease of use and increased visibility.

Learn more about how VSC version 7.0 changes the OT vulnerability management landscape.

Verve Industrial Recognized for Cybersecurity Excellence in ICS/SCADA Security and Security Management

The 2019 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards honor individuals, products and companies that demonstrate excellence, innovation and leadership in information security. Based on the strength of their nomination and the popular vote by members of the Information Security Community, Verve has been announced as a Silver Medal Winner in both the ICS/SCADA security category and the Security Management category. This award is handed out each year by polling close to half a million Cybersecurity professionals for their votes on who is making a difference in each discipline.

cybersecurity excellence awards 2019

See the full blog post to understand what makes Verve Industrial a leader in ICS/SCADA and Security Management.

Verve wins Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 Growth Leadership Award for OT Cybersecurity

We were thrilled to receive the “Growth Excellence Leadership Award” from Frost & Sullivan last week. As the award reads, “Frost & Sullivan bestows this award upon the company that demonstrates excellence in growth and customer value. The award recognizes the superiority of the product/service as well as the overall customer, purchase, ownership, and service experience offered, resulting in the recipient company seeing above-market growth and a greater share of wallet.” This is a testament to our team’s dedicated focus to helping our customers simplify the complexities of OT cybersecurity and reliability. Our combination of a comprehensive, cross-vendor platform combined with deep industrial process experts enables us to support customers through their security journey. Thanks so much to F&S for the recognition and our customers for their support! Read more about Verve’s Growth Leadership Award here.

Verve recognized by Frost & Sullivan for the Growth Leadership Award for OT Cybersecurity

Verve Industrial Protection and Dexcent Inc Announce Strategic Partnership to Deliver Integrated Cybersecurity Solution throughout North America

Collaboration Will Strengthen the Delivery of Verve Security Center Throughout North America.

EDMONTON, AB, CANADA AND PADUCAH, KY, USA — April 25, 2018 — Cybersecurity is a technology-driven, people-enabled program, and increasing and then maintaining the overall security posture of the OT/ICS environment can be challenging. Because of this realization, Verve Industrial Protection and Dexcent Inc are investing in next-generation technology and skilled ICS cybersecurity expertise.

 

 

News Highlights

  • The Verve Security Center (VSC) platform provides an ICS-wide view of the real-time health of the OT/ICS cybersecurity environment including embedded equipment to HMIs and workstations and provides unrivalled situational awareness of the ICS cybersecurity posture. By safely combining comprehensive asset profiles with supporting security information from vulnerability scanning to patch, backup and change management, the VSC platform provides unparalleled visibility, management and measurement of OT/ICS security programs.
  • The VSC platform used at regulated and non-regulated companies has proven to be easily scalable, flexible and to provide a significant improvement in security and situational awareness. Using VSC, customers have been able to realize significant gains in their security posture by making wholesale improvements across the board from asset detection through to responding, reporting and taking corrective action.
  • Under the terms of the partnership, Dexcent can offer the Verve Security Center (VSC) platform to its customers to improve performance, security and manageability across their OT/ICS environment. The VSC platform, when combined with Dexcent’s team of cybersecurity and industrial infrastructure professionals, enhances our capabilities to provide customers with an offering to – Manage Every Experience That Matters. This includes field engineering support and maintenance, remote OT network management, remote OT server management, security compliance management, and vendor support.
  • Under the terms of the partnership, Verve grows its trusted team of ICS cybersecurity experts to provide customers with expertise locally available in Canada. Verve will continue to bring their significant experience in Designing for Defence for OT security programs and in Managed Asset Protection services for post-implementation support and maintenance of security programs.
  • In making this announcement, Verve and Dexcent are building on the best-in-class cybersecurity services that they have jointly delivered to their respective customers since 2017. Combined, they form a team of ~100 professionals to be an extension of your ICS operations.
  • The partnership will enable both companies to strengthen their respective ability to provide customers with unmatched skills, performance, and flexibility while reducing the overall total cost of ownership.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements relating to future plans, objectives, products, services and technologies and the expected demand for Verve or Dexcent products and services. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they do not fully materialize or prove incorrect, could cause Verve’s and Dexcent’s results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties that could cause Verve’s or Dexcent’s results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, fluctuations in demand, sales cycles and prices for Verve and Dexcent products and services, and other factors. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to as of the date hereof, and neither Verve nor Dexcent assumes any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Any future product, service, feature or related specification that may be referenced in this release is for information purposes only and is not a commitment to deliver any technology or enhancement. Each of Verve and Dexcent reserve the right to modify future product plans at any time.

About Dexcent
We provide a range of highly specialized engineering consulting services and solutions aimed specifically at optimizing industrial plant operations and business performance. Dexcent does this using in-depth knowledge and expertise in industrial analytics & information, cybersecurity & infrastructure, and process control systems.

Our solutions have a simple premise; each is engineered to:

  • empowerstakeholders within the organization with relevant and timely knowledge and information for improved decision-making;
  • enableour customers to achieve operational excellence;
  • protectand secure critical engineering and OT infrastructure; and
  • enhancethe capabilities of industrial systems.

The strength of our company is in our ability to leverage technology and assemble a strong team from within Dexcent, the customer, and other specialized service providers and partners to provide a solution that meets and exceeds your requirements.

About Verve Industrial Protection
Verve is the leading provider of cybersecurity for industrial control systems.  The company’s proprietary Verve Security Center integrates end point detection & response with robust network analysis to provide comprehensive cybersecurity orchestration.  Verve Security Center helps clients achieve rapid maturity increases against NIST, CSC20, NERC CIP, ISA99, ISO27001, and other industrial cybersecurity standards.

The company’s software is backed by 25+ years of industrial controls engineering experience to ensure ongoing low-cost maintenance & remediation support.

 

Verve Industrial Protection announces appointment of experienced NERC CIP auditor and ICS program expert Boyd Nation, as Director of Compliance Services

Chicago – Feb 24, 2018 – Verve Industrial Protection, the global leader in industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity, today announced the appointment of Boyd Nation as Director of Compliance Services.  He will be responsible for leading our compliance services in support of the Verve suite of solutions.

A 20+-year utility security and compliance veteran who has provided high-level compliance services and program leadership to major power companies like,Southern Company, Ameren, and Exelon along with a large number of smaller but important pieces of the Bulk Electric System, Nation has built several ICS security and compliance programs, turning siloed security tools and practices into a sustainable compliance program and significantly reducing risk.

“We are thrilled to have Boyd assume this role.  His depth of expertise in the ICS cybersecurity industry especially around compliance is a significant addition to our team.  We are committed to bringing our unique industrial control systems cybersecurity platform based solution to the global market. Boyd is the perfect person to lead this,” said John Livingston, CEO of Verve Industrial Protection.

Verve industrial Protection’s flagship product, the Verve Security Center, soon to release its fourth version, is a comprehensive platform to manage all critical elements of cybersecurity within the ICS environment. Its unique cross-vendor solution allows operation technology (OT) leaders to significantly reduce the costs and complexity of managing cyber defense across the enterprise from a single console.

“Verve Industrial is extremely well positioned to help industrial customers reduce complexity, capture investment and position themselves for highly accurate visibility and action into their security and compliance programs”, said Mr. Nation. “I am very excited to engage with our customers and channel partners that service this space to help bring clarity to an often chaotic topic while organizing and extending our available compliance services.  We will be building a world-class compliance service organization to complement Verve’s traditional strength across our software product line and engineering services expertise”.

About Verve Industrial Protection

Verve Industrial Protection is a world-class engineering firm specializing in ICS systems, cybersecurity and technical services. Verve Industrial Protection reinvented the ICS cybersecurity industry by fusing information technology (IT) with operational technology (OT) through the Verve Security Center.  For more information, please visit Verveindustrial.com, or follow us on LinkedIn.

Fundamentals of ICS Security – US CERT TA17-164A

Introduction

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team recently revised Alert TA17-164A, detailing technical details on the tools and infrastructure used by cyber actors of the North Korean government.  While the alert was written to address the specific actors, the mitigating actions recommended in this alert are effective against similar techniques used by any actors.  As these techniques become well known by the user community, other actors may use them or derive similar techniques for use in their own campaigns against other targets.

The alert should be of particular concern to owners and operators of industrial control systems because these actors “commonly target systems running older, unsupported versions of Microsoft operating systems.”  The actors have also used vulnerabilities targeting the Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight applications.  The versions of Microsoft Windows commonly used in industrial control systems typically lags those used in commercial environments, and are not always replaced or upgraded when Microsoft ends support.  The Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight applications are sometimes used in support of machine interface or supervisory applications in operational technology environments.

The alert encourages all network administrators to apply several mitigation strategies.  These strategies work best when integrated together to form a stronger security fabric. A few of these strategies are particularly applicable to industrial control systems:

  1. Patch applications and operating systems
  2. Use application whitelisting
  3. Restrict administrative privileges
  4. Segment networks and segregate them into security zones
  5. Understand firewalls

Patch Applications & Operating Systems

Owners and operators should take every opportunity to patch their control system assets.  Traditional claims that patching activities are a greater risk than the vulnerabilities neglect the experience of the last several years, beginning with the revelations of the Stuxnet software and continuing with its derivatives and a steady drumbeat of vulnerabilities specific to industrial applications, controllers, and common support equipment.  Any owner or operator of an industrial control system should have an active program to periodically evaluate and install patches to applications and operating systems for all devices in their environment, even if the period is annual or semi-annual, depending on the downtime requirements and perceived risk of process disruption.

Application Whitelisting

The use of application whitelisting and the restriction of administrative privileges in operational technology environments is becoming a best practice, particularly on systems using Microsoft operating systems.  Controllers and common support equipment don’t typically support whitelisting (or the function is effectively supplied by the manufacturer at varying degrees of effectiveness).  Application whitelisting can be particularly effective in a controls environment because the application use is relatively limited and static.  Many of the biggest issues with whitelisting in the IT context, i.e., whitelisting “bloat”, is significantly lower in control systems.

Restricting Administrative Privileges

Restricting administrative privileges is a security best practice.  However, the increased risk of denying support personnel ready access to these devices may offset the benefits of restricting the privileges against this threat. There are several means of achieving this objective – from installing more advanced and limited password usage, to alerting on new admin account access, to review of admin account usage on a regular basis. Importantly, these solutions must depend on the type of device at issue.  We find that employing a range of “alerting & review” solutions along with true restriction on certain devices is the most balanced approach to security and operational reliability.

Network Segmentation & Understanding Firewalls

Segmenting networks and use of effective firewalls are critical elements to any cybersecurity or reliability solution, for that matter. Segmentation can improve overall reliability of industrial control systems, harden these systems against lateral movement of malicious actors within the environment, and aid in managing the scope of an incident response effort.  Further, continual review and updating of rules and protocols on how to control network traffic, enforce communications protocols, and provide central intrusion detection functionality enables the network administrator to apply the principles of continuous improvement to the network’s security profile over time.

Critical to segmentation is a thorough understanding of firewalls and routers.  In certain cases routers can be used as less functional firewalls where complex networks can benefit from less traffic control between closely interdependent segments.

One can segment networks into security zones in many ways.  Two common strategies are to segment networks by service provided to the facility or to segment networks by class of asset.  Both of these strategies can be equally effective, although it may be less costly to use one over another depending on the details of the environment.

Segmenting networks by service provided allows each service to the facility to be isolated during an incident, whether the incident is non-malicious (such as a simple broadcast storm) or malicious (worm activity spreading by the SMB protocol).  When an incident occurs, a router or firewall can provide some warning of unusual activity to network administrators or security analysts and possibly prevent an incident from directly impacting more than one service to the facility.  Many facilities have storage or redundancy of utility services that can allow for the continued provision of at least limited service during an incident.  While the use of a large storage tank may be independent of the segmentation strategy, conscious decisions should be made about the co-location of redundant services within a segment.  Spanning parallel networks (either physical or virtual) throughout a large facility is no longer considered a standard practice in commercial network design, but still finds widespread use in industrial control systems.

Segmenting networks by class of asset isolates threats to individual platforms.  Machine interfaces typically need to communicate with controllers, but not with each other.  Placing all machine interface hosts in a common segment and using private virtual networking begins to apply micro-segmentation to the environment; each machine interface host can easily communicate with its controllers but not with other similar hosts.  By keeping the controllers on a separate segment, the firewall has the opportunity to limit communications between the host and the controllers to only those protocols used for control functions.  Malicious code introduced to any host will be unable to compromise the dissimilar platform using any protocol; many denial of service attacks targeting controllers from the machine interface hosts also become ineffective in this case.

A key consideration in designing network segments is the definition of security zones.  Zones can be defined using the NIST guidance.  Common zones used in operational technology environments include but are not limited to

* Process Information Network (aka Demilitarized Zone, providing process information to the commercial environment)

* Remote Access Network

* Management or Supervisory Network (providing management workstations and supervisory network services such as log collection, performance monitoring, and event analysis servers)

* Process Control Networks (Distributed Control Systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems, or hybrid machine interface, controller, and instrumentation networks)

* Operational Networks

** Operational Supervisory Network

** Basic Control Network (typically machine interfaces, alarming, and controllers)

** Safety Network (independent safety controllers and instrumentation)

** Process Network (networked instrumentation, including both sensors and control elements

Summary

Security vendors and the press often discuss all of the more advanced security features of new products and technologies. And all of these solutions can potentially help make a network more secure. However, this recent CERT release explains how critical the fundamentals of cybersecurity are, especially in critical industrial control systems. Patching, application whitelisting, admin privilege management, segmentation are all critical to get right to ensure you can both protect as we as detect potential threats.