How ICS Data Analytics & Cyber Security Deliver True Business Value

How ICS Data Analytics & Cyber Security Deliver True Business Value

This article was updated on August 6, 2019.

These days, it takes a village to fight cyber crime. That’s why last month we launched our partnership with digital transformation heavyweight Atos. Combining Atos analytics on data from industrial devices with our cyber security processes takes operational visibility and OT security to new levels. But the real value goes way beyond cyber security – to include lower total cost of ownership and business resilience.

Using Analytics to Transform Data into Safety and Security

Industrial organizations have long had access to data generated by the information technology (IT) side of the business – mining ERP, CRM and other business systems to uncover untapped revenue potential and enable better decision-making.

But access to operational technology (OT) data – like the uptime and performance levels of all the devices used across oil & gas and electric utilities operations, combined with the ability to analyze it for performance and other insights, has been elusive.

Not any longer.

Atos Codex, the company’s advanced analytics platform, helps organizations analyze structured and unstructured data from various sources for better business insight. Nozomi Networks’ Guardian solution provides real-time ICS monitoring, industrial network visualization, hybrid ICS threat and anomaly detection, and asset inventory and vulnerability assessment.

Together, our Guardian asset tracking and network monitoring tool, and the Atos Codex data analytics platform delivers unheard of analysis for the OT side of the business. As an example, industrial organizations can now analyze equipment usage data to predict preventative maintenance needs, thereby increasing operational reliability and reducing downtime.

Not only can organizations view their complete OT network, they can also understand how it’s performing, pinpoint areas of concern, and see where it’s vulnerable to cyber risk.

Investment in Cyber Security Not Just About Risk Mitigation

Many organizations prioritize investments that offer a clear path to top-line revenue – like bringing new products to market and attracting more partners. Investment in cyber security, however, often gets slotted into the risk mitigation bucket, much to the detriment of those who see it as an “optional” insurance policy that takes more than it gives.

As Aaron Hand, Executive Editor of AutomationWorld pointed out in a recent article titled “Partnership Combines Cybersecurity With Predictive Maintenance,” business leaders should view their investment in cyber security as more than just insurance.

Given the ability of the Nozomi Networks / Atos solution to deliver predictive maintenance and ongoing operational analysis, the organization gets much more than cyber security for its money. Aaron proposed that the joint solution can actually help operators reduce their total cost of ownership – for example by extending the life of assets through visibility into behavioural deviation.

Let’s take a look at the use cases Mazi Fayazfar, Atos North America chief technology officer for telecom, media and utilities, mentioned in the article:

“A lot of the machine learning and the artificial intelligence of what the Nozomi Networks solution does is focused on building a baseline of what that data looks like, what values happened when and with what consistency does that continue to happen,” he said. “And it’s really that base of knowledge that gives you a baseline in order to determine deviation.”

“Sometimes that deviation is a function of degradation of components over time – the pitting of a contactor, the water entering into hydraulic lines and seeing braking systems start to slow down, or motors starting to fade or the brushes starting to fade and we’re starting to see a degrade in performance,” Fayazfar said. “But the metrics, if you’re measuring to determine those values coming back, are the same whether you’re looking for a deviation from a malicious or a non-malicious event.”

Nozomi Networks / Atos Analytics Delivers True Business Value

The value of the joint Nozomi Networks / Atos solution is threefold – business resilience and cyber security, plus lower total cost of ownership. Our ICS network data combined with Atos analytics gives operators insight into potential equipment maintenance issues and cyber threats. Acting on anomalies before a failure occurs improves reliability and avoids the cost of an outage. As Fayazfar noted in the AutomationWorld article, “Why not leverage that investment you’re making to get real results today that can improve your business, extend your assets or give you potential upside if you know how to monetize it?”

I couldn’t agree more.

Read the full AutomationWorld story.