African value-added distributor Networks Unlimited Africa has added industrial cybersecurity to its service portfolio in South Africa as a result of a partnership agreement with established industrial cybersecurity services provider Indegy.
According to information supplied, Indegy is focused on the protection of industrial control system networks from cyber threats, human error and malicious insiders. Networks Unlimited Africa provides security solutions for operational and information technology networks across several key industrial markets
The partners define OT as the use of IT to control physical processes, devices and infrastructure, and has operational and management uses in public infrastructure, transportation, energy, urban planning, industries and manufacturing.
“An industrial control system is unique in the interaction that it has with physical processes,” it said.
Stefan van de Giessen, General Manager: Cybersecurity at Networks Unlimited Africa, said: “We are very excited to bring this new product on board with the security division. Through our partnership with Indegy, we provide security for applications and systems in the industrial internet of things (IIoT), operational technology (OT), industrial control systems (ICS) and critical infrastructure arenas.”
Erez Shalom, AVP Strategic Channels EMEA & APAC at Indegy added, “This partnership will enable Indegy to rapidly penetrate and build market share in South Africa.”
Van de Giessen continued: “The combination of IIoT connectivity offered across production and supply lines, and the way in which OT is automating the modern world, interfacing through electro-mechanical devices and sensors, is opening up new vulnerabilities and thus making cybersecurity for industrial infrastructure a critical business imperative.
“The potential penetration of OT systems by hackers puts critical infrastructure such as water and energy supplies, transport networks and production lines at the risk of being disrupted or even shut down. The main challenge in ensuring cybersecurity for industrial systems is therefore the ability to maintain uninterrupted industrial processes.”
According to the partners, the suite of capabilities ties together in an out-of-the-box deployment, resulting in the delivery of alerts, automated reports and third party integration with an organisation’s existing tools.
Van de Giessen noted, “The boundaries between IT and OT are blurring. We know that although the 2017 WannaCry ransomware and NotPetya malware attacks – which crippled many organisations in Europe and the US in the space of two months – did not specifically target industrial networks, they did reach them. The incidents raised the profile of how malware can move to ICS environments, and made the world aware that if threat actors wanted to launch a ransomware attack on industrial networks, they clearly could.”
“In South Africa, security conversations have traditionally centred on the possible theft of intellectual property and personal data. Today however, we urgently need to add in thinking around the defences of industrial control systems and critical infrastructure. The stakes could be very high for those who do not.”