Verve Industrial Protection is excited to announce a new partnership with Horizon Controls, a global digital process automation solutions and consultancy company. The partnership expands both companies’ expertise into new areas of highly sophisticated cyber security technology and services to serve pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and other life sciences manufacturing and research organizations.

The pharmaceutical industry has recently become an increased target for attack of cyber-related threats. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare and life sciences companies have ramped up the creation, testing and manufacturing of testing equipment, protective gear, vaccines, medical devices, and other treatment needed to fight the coronavirus. With all eyes on the healthcare sector, the value is increasingly apparent and, in many cases, lags the security posture that other critical infrastructure industries have adopted.

Verve has deep experience managing the complexities of the regulated environments within the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. We understand how to ensure security while not running afoul of quality compliance regulations. We understand how to scale globally at low cost, while ensuring plant IT and engineering remains in control over final actions. We understand the sensitivity of the legacy systems that require older firmware and software to operate.

While Verve Industrial’s cyber security solutions keep pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers secure and compliant, partnering with Horizon Controls leverages additional consulting and execution services.

“Horizon Controls Group provides consultation, design, execution, and support for the full project life-cycle of automation Process Control Systems, Building Automation Systems, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and Process Historians using industry standards and best practices. Our team integrates data integrity, resiliency, manageability, and security principles into every project; not as an afterthought, bolt-on, or cost adder, but in a proactive Quality by Design QbD manner,” says Youssef El-Bahtimy, Automation Information & Systems Manager at Horizon Control Group.

“We believe this is the new standard for a modern systems integrator, and a key differentiator to become more than just a service provider, and to being the trusted advisor that our clients require. We see application of the Verve Security Center and the expertise of the team at Verve as an invaluable and versatile way to solve the challenges posed by the unique security, situational awareness, and manageability environment of the OT space.”

The Verve Security Center is a platform-based approach to OT security.  Providing multi-dimensional views into all OT assets across multiple security indicators as well as operational context of the asset, its criticality and place in the overall function.  This insight drives unparalleled OT security context that, in turn, leads to a significant acceleration in developing and maintaining an overall OT cyber security program.

“We are quite excited to join forces with Horizon Controls Group,” says Rick Kaun, VP Solutions of Verve Industrial.  “Their ‘trusted advisor’ status within their client base coupled with their deep OT systems control abilities are a perfect match for the power and insight provided by our own industry-leading Verve Security Center platform.”

Pharmaceutical case study

Legacy equipment, regulatory requirements on validated and/or quality systems, geographically distributed plants often segmented from IT networks, and proprietary embedded devices combine to create barriers to successful vulnerability and security management for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies.

When a large pharma/med device manufacturer with dozens of plants worldwide needed to manage vulnerabilities and security posture in manufacturing networks, they tried traditional IT tools such as vulnerability scanning, patch modules, anti-virus, etc. Unfortunately, these tools were inefficient in the segmented networks and created operational and regulatory risks from scanning and changing settings without proper manufacturing team involvement.

The client needed an OT-safe vulnerability management approach that provided visibility, assessment, and the ability to remediate efficiently. The critical customer needs included:

  • Visibility into all IT and OT endpoints
  • Deployment in multi-site environment with segmented networks
  • Endpoint and network vulnerability assessments without running intrusive scans
  • Enable analysts to “think global, act local” to scale limited resources with central analysis with safe, plant-level action
  • Ongoing solution – not a one-time “event”
  • Services resources with deep manufacturing experience to work with operations leaders

The Verve Security Center was chosen because of its unique ability to allow leadership to use the same tools as their IT counterparts. Within one platform, they now manage all of the complex proprietary devices that exist in their OT environment.

The partnership between Verve Industrial and Horizon Controls was designed to bring the same level of cyber security to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies as seen in other critical infrastructure industries such as oil & gas, power, and utilities. Leveraging the Verve platform with Horizon’s professional services creates a safer environment for operations, increased efficiency, and faster time to remediation.

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Horizon Controls Group Partners With Verve Industrial

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