Verve Industrial Protection announces appointment of experienced Cyber Security executive Jim Crowley, as Vice President Sales & Marketing

Chicago – September 11, 2017 – Verve Industrial Protection the global leader in industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity, today announced the appointment of Jim Crowley as Vice President Sales and Marketing.  He will be responsible for revenue generation and new customer acquisition globally.

An information security veteran who previously held senior leadership positions at notable companies including ThreatStack, Imperva and Industrial Defender, Crowley has built several high performing sales operations, turning early stage software and service companies into successful market leaders.

“We are thrilled to have Jim join Verve.  His depth of expertise in the ICS cybersecurity industry is a significant addition to our team.  We are committed to bringing our unique industrial control systems cybersecurity software and services to the global market. Jim 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, now in its third 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 solve security automation, integration and compliance challenges”, said Mr. Crowley. “I am very excited to engage with our customers and channel partners that service the industrial control ecosystem”.


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, email or follow us on LinkedIn.

Dragonfly, Energy Targets and General ICS Security Hype


Just the other day Symantec published an article about the recent ‘re-discovery’ of a group known as ‘Dragonfly’.  Now the article itself is a decent analysis of the threat/attack vectors this group uses and even has a handy chart displaying their ‘progress’ since the last time they were discovered.  My only real critique is the fact that Symantec says twice in this article that “Symantec customers are protected against the activities of the Dragonfly group.”  This I have a problem with.  On many fronts.  Symantec is a good company that does good things.  They even have the ability with their suite of products to likely prevent or minimize damage to their clients’ assets.  But this statement provides a false sense of security because in an ICS network you cant deploy all the tools a product like Symantec has to offer with the level of automatic updating and intervention it provides.  In reality you are maybe able to use half of its features (AV but not end point or end point but limited to specific systems or scaled down functions like alert but don’t block, etc).  This is not the fault of Symantec but rather a consequence of the reality of OT equipment and OEM vendor control/support.

What would provide an appropriate level of security comfort is something that very few currently have and that is a detailed, up to date profile of their asset fleet.  There are a few qualifiers to that statement so lets walk through them.


When I say asset list I don’t mean a list of IP addresses.  That is just a base level ‘head count’.  I mean detail.  Like what is the device (relay, controller, PLC, engineering station….)?  What is running on it (hardware, firmware, serial number, software, OS, etc).  And where is it located physically and functionally in your plant or where along the process?  I am talking about the sort of detail that lets you truly understand what is really out there and how it is configured.


Too many times we see an ‘asset list’ from a client and they are pretty sure it is ‘reasonably’ accurate.  Like 90% accurate but this is rarely the case.  In the last 5 client asset lists I have seen in the last 3 months only one was 90% accurate.  At the other end of the spectrum, we found there were 590% more IP enabled assets at a particular site than they thought.  The only way to combat this is to be active.  I don’t mean actively scanning an OT network but I do mean implementing a proactive set of data collection and asset inventory tools.  They can be native to that system, they can be passive in listening (though this does lack system specific details) and/or they can make use of agents on OS based devices.  More likely, however, it is a combination of multiple data profiling techniques and technologies that will provide you an accurate inventory.


Once compiled the data in this asset list/database is invaluable.  It allows for you to create profiles of assets or classes of assets.  These profiles then enable more accurate creation and tuning of security tools like white listing, vulnerability scanning and change management.  But what is most beneficial is the ability to query the database for a specific risk.  By being able to show only those devices that are in scope for a current or emerging threat you are refining your work load to only that which is truly at risk.  For example the recent WannaCry threat which we wrote about as well: imagine if you could query your asset database to show just those systems with SMB ports 139 and 445 enabled?  You don’t need to run around with a windows disk patching all systems, you could just disable the ports on those systems.  Crisis averted!


Best in class IT tools are great for the function they provide assuming you are able to take advantage of them.  However for a more robust, more accurate ability to act and react to threats to ICS networks you need to start with a much more inclusive view of what you have installed in the first place.  Visibility is what lifts the veil of uncertainty and allows ICS security teams to focus their very limited resources to what is truly at risk in a way that is safe for OT.



Leading Cyber Security Software Architect, Bill Easton, joins Verve Industrial Protection as Chief Technical Officer

Easton brings distinctive experience in end point protection and management

ST. LOUIS, MO and CHICAGO – July 5, 2017 – Verve Industrial Protection, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Easton as Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Easton will help Verve continue to establish its leadership position as the leading platform for ICS cybersecurity.

Mr. Easton joins Verve Industrial Protection from RES software, a leading provider of end point protection services where he was a leader of BigFix integration.  Mr. Easton is one of the leading innovators in how to integrate different types of end-point protection to simplify the security process for end users.

“We are excited to welcome Bill to our team.  Verve Security Center is the only ICS-focused cyber security solution that provides an integrated platform to simplify end-point and network protection. Bill’s deep expertise in integrating these capabilities will help us extend our differentiation in this arena,” said John Livingston, CEO of Verve Industrial Protection.

Mr. Easton will help continue to expand the capabilities of the Verve Security Center. Verve Security Center (VSC) is a vendor agnostic security suite that consolidates antivirus, application whitelisting, change & configuration management, security information & event management (SIEM), patch management, vulnerability assessments, intrusion detection, backup management, compliance, workflow and document management into a unified solution.   VSC brings together threat intelligence into a single console so users can quickly and simply understand their security posture and compliance status.

“I am thrilled to join the Verve team.  The complexity of cyber security, especially in the ICS environment, requires that providers find a way to simplify solutions.  The Verve platform is one-of-a-kind.  The ability to bring together the full view of threats into an orchestrated platform is key to ensuring protection. I am excited to help continue to expand Verve’s leadership ,” said Mr. Easton.


About Verve Industrial Protection:  Verve, formerly known as RKNeal Engineering, has been in the industrial controls engineering business for approximately 25 years. The company’s flagship software product is the Verve Security Center, an orchestration platform for ICS cyber security.  The company also offers industrial controls engineering and managed asset protection services to industrial clients.


For more information, please email us at, visit us at

Magion Partners With Verve Industrial Protection

This week Magion announces its partnership with Verve Industrial Protection, an RKNeal Engineering company. Both Magion and Verve have a solid background in process control and automation.

Verve has been in the control engineering business for 25 years. Verve Industrial Protection encompasses three integrated software and service offerings: Design-4-Defense industrial control engineering, Verve Security Center software platform and Managed Asset Protection Services.

Together, these solutions help customers build true defense in depth and cover the critical areas of compliance required by regulators.

This union with Verve is Magion’s step forward into a strategy to move further into industrial cyber security operations, taking advantage of opportunities driven by the Industrial Internet of Things.

For more information regarding this partnership, please contact your Verve Industrial Protection at 1-855-475-6247 or Magion representative.

Verve Industrial Protection is a provider of software and services for the process industries.

Magion is a system integrator in process control & automation engineering, production intelligence and optimization.


Industrial Cybersecurity Industry Leader, Eric Byres, Joins Verve Industrial Protection as Senior Advisor

ST. LOUIS and CHICAGO, Jan. 31, 2017:  Verve Industrial Protection, formerly known as RKNeal, is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric Byres P.Eng, ISA Fellow, as Senior Advisor.  Mr. Byres will work with the leadership of the company on product and strategic matters in the arena of industrial cybersecurity and protection.

Mr. Byres has a tremendous track record as a leader in ICS cybersecurity.  As the inventor of the Tofino Security technology, Eric and his partner Joann guided the product through its evolution from academic research project and startup to successful acquisition by Belden Inc. Today it is probably the most widely deployed ICS-specific firewall in the world.

Eric is also known for his leadership in international standards and research for ICS/SCADA security. As the founder of the BCIT Critical Infrastructure Security Centre, he shaped it into one of North America’s leading academic facilities in ICS security, culminating in a SANS Institute Security Leadership Award in 2006. He was the founding chair of the ISA SP-99 Security Technologies Working Group, and the Canadian representative for the IEC TC65/WG10 standards effort.

“We are thrilled that Eric has agreed to join us as we push forward in our vision to help secure industrial control systems.  Eric’s willingness to commit his valuable time to our company will help us expand our leading industrial cybersecurity solutions,” said John Livingston, CEO of Verve Industrial Protection.

Mr. Byres will focus helping expand the capabilities of Verve Industrial’s flagship product, Verve Security Center (VSC).  VSC is a vendor agnostic platform that consolidates antivirus, application whitelisting, change & configuration management, security information & event management (SIEM), patch management, vulnerability assessments, intrusion detection, backup management, and compliance evidence management.   VSC unifies threat intelligence into a single console simplifying the complexity of ICS security and compliance.

“I am excited to help the Verve team expand on the success that they have to date,” said Mr. Byres. “The industrial world really needs a solution like Verve Security Center.  It is the only fully integrated security platform that I have seen that was built by ICS engineers for ICS engineers.  It was designed with the security challenges of the plant floor in mind. Verve’s the foundation that will allow companies to start creating an active defense that truly “closes the loop” on ICS security.”

About Verve Industrial Protection:  Verve has been in the controls engineering business for 25 years. Verve Industrial Protection (“VIP”) encompasses three integrated software and service offerings: 1) Design-4-Defense industrial controls engineering & design, 2) Verve Security Center software platform, and 3) Managed Asset Protection Services.  Together, these solutions help customers build true defense in depth and cover the critical areas of compliance required by regulators.

For more information, visit or contact Rick Kaun at or 615-476-1801.


RKNeal Orchestration Concept Published in ARC View

The risk of cyber incidents remains high for industrial plants and critical infrastructure. Many operators have invested in sophisticated cyber de-fenses, but most struggle to sustain them. Staffs are overwhelmed with the complexity of managing a never-ending stream of product patches and updates for a multitude of assets and security products.

Verve Security Center helps to cut through the confusion, minimize the effort and maximize accuracy and efficiency of an operational based cyber security program. Recently Verve worked with ARC to define and describe what has been coined an ‘orchestrated approach’ to cybersecurity. To read the full ARC view report click here.