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Verano's Industrial Defender Does Just That - page 4

Industrial Strength Opportunities

  • June 21, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

The 13-year-old company has over 220 global customers, including BASF, Bayer, Chevron and others. Their experience in the industrial field means that they throughly understand the industrial control and computer infrastructures, within a plant. Coupling that with their understanding of Linux and other corporate IT systems, as well as, the issues surrounding network security, has helped them pull the corporate IT and plant IT interests together.

As part of their consulting business Verano conducts security evaluations and audits prior to rolling their products into a client site.

Some of the security audits have been real eye openers. One client even found a laptop taped to the bottom of a rack, collecting network traffic data. It turned out that the laptop was owned by a contractor working for the client.

Other evaluations by Verano consultants have turned up all types of file downloading from the Internet. Obviously this activity can cause viruses to be introduced into the plant network environment. Big downloads can also tie up the network for more mission critical network traffic. The real-time performance monitoring capabilities of the Verano products have helped companies become aware of and deal with these situations. Dustin said that the first question asked when companies see the products in operation is "Why isn't everyone using this?"

Solving the responsibility issue between the CIO's and Operations VP's has been a tougher problem. Dustin said it has been the biggest impediment to securing the plant network environment. Verano has focused significant effort on educating the clients about security and how their internal organizations should address their differences.

When Cooley was asked about the future of the industrial cyber-security field, he said "It's an emerging field. It's all brand new."

He also thought that working with the Open Source community was a plus and added that some of their developers have helped funnel enhancements back into the community.

Dustin and Cooley acknowledged that the big boys in the industrial computer integration fields, like the Honeywells and Siemens have remained focused on their technology, mostly industrial controls and not security. They also said that some small consulting groups have been working in this market, but tended to be very specialized.

It was obvious that Dustin and Cooley were excited about serving their clients in the brave new world of industrial cyber-security.

Rob Reilly is a professional technology writer and consultant whose articles appear in various Linux media outlets. He offers professional writing and seminar services on Linux desktop applications, portable computing and presentation technology. He's always interested in covering cool Linux stories. Send him a note or visit his web site at http://home.earthlink.net/~robreilly.

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