Over the last few years, we have closely followed the macro trends in industrial asset monitoring and cyber security and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Claroty team to build a company at the center of this ecosystem.
As a large-scale operator of operational technology (OT) networks, our parent company Evergy Inc., knows first-hand the risks to industrial control systems (ICS) and we believe the Claroty team has built an unparalleled platform of integrated technologies to address the full spectrum of industrial cybersecurity protection requirements:
Real-time Threat Detection including advanced anomaly and signature-based detection for complete coverage of known and unknown threats and analysis tools for ICS threat hunting.
Continuous Vulnerability Monitoring enabling customers to uncover and remedy network configuration “hygiene” issues and identify assets with known vulnerabilities (CVEs).
Secure Remote Access with policy- and workflow-based access control and session monitoring.
Both ICS network operators and cybersecurity professionals love the platform because it provides a common solution for both organizations to solve the problems of asset discovery, vulnerability & threat detection, and remote access (one of the most common OT attack vectors) with an extremely high degree of accuracy but is not disruptive to sensitive industrial environments. This creates a win-win for organizations who are moving toward convergence of IT and OT security.
Why We Invested in Claroty… in Three Charts
Aside from great technology, we were drawn to Claroty because of their position as a leader in a sector where we see tremendous opportunity. Here’s why in three charts:
1. Growing Threats with Increased Risk to Utilities
The increase in cyberattacks affecting industrial sectors has been well documented, particularly in the past 3-4 years. From targeted attacks such as the 2015 and 2016 shutdown of multiple power plants in Ukraine and the recent intrusions into multiple US power suppliers, the utility segment has been among the most targeted (research suggests it is the first or second most targeted among industrial sectors). Add to this the impact of non-targeted, “spill-over” damage caused by broad ransomware campaigns, and we see a market badly in need of security tools which enable it to fight back.
2. Increased Adoption of Smart technology in Industrial Environments
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems connect and integrate different types of control systems and sensors with enterprise systems, business processes, analytics and people. These systems differ from traditional industrial control systems by being connected extensively to other systems and people, increasing the diversity and scale of the systems. Increasingly affordable computing power, ubiquitous connectivity and evolving ML/AI techniques have opened the door to a proliferation of these systems across a variety of industries including utilities. With this digitalization gains come risks. Systems that were designed to be isolated are now exposed to attacks of ever-increasing sophistication and design assumptions of existing OT systems no longer apply.
3. Growing Security Skills Gap
The cybersecurity talent gap is a known quantity. Companies across the globe are feeling the strain as demand for security support, innovation and skills soar despite a shortage of incoming IT professionals. This problem is even more acute for folks in ICS to be able to find experts capable of managing OT Cybersecurity.
The Claroty platform, in a short time, has shown that it can address all these challenges and opportunities for our utility as well as other industrial operators.
Amir, Benny, and Galina, the cofounders of Claroty, all have extensive experience starting cybersecurity businesses including Waterfall which is a global leader in protecting nuclear facilities. Since our first meeting, we have been consistently impressed with their ability to lead, execute, and envision the future of this market.
At GXP Investments, our philosophy is to partner early with the best entrepreneurs in the utility sector. After working with this team, we are absolutely convinced that Claroty will become the gold standard for utilities and other enterprises to secure and manage their industrial and IoT networks.