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To Strengthen IIoT Cybersecurity, Rockwell Automation Acquires Verve Industrial Protection

By Alex Passett
October 27, 2023

The Industrial Internet of Things couldn’t function as it currently does (not at all long-term, at least) without the right security measures in place. Cybersecurity is crucial to IIoT because:

  • Protection against cyber threats is a must. With the wide range of IIoT devices and systems, vulnerabilities will be breached and critical operations potentially upended. At a minimum, safeguarding sensitive information and preventing future malicious activities should be the go-to.
  • Operational integrity in industrial settings needs to be preserved. IIoT devices are often responsible for controlling key points of infrastructure like power plants and elements of manufacturing facilities, so compromised security can result in physical damages, safety hazards, financial losses and more. Strong, cybersecure protocols help to maintain the integrity and reliability of such operations.
  • Robust cybersecurity mitigates impacts of downtime. Disruptions to systems in IIoT can lead to significant bouts of downtime, resulting in what could be big losses in productivity and revenue. Cybersecurity measures including network monitoring, intrusion detection, and incident response plans can minimize this.
  • There are external implications. IIoT devices generate and transmit a truly vast amount of data, and breaches can have sever consequences like financial losses, reputational damage, and heavy legal implications. Stakeholder trust is part of this.
  • Can’t forget about compliance with regulations and supply chain security. Adhering to specific regulations and standards (e.g. GDPR) is a priority, too. Complying with them is another way to avoid legal consequences. Similarly, adherence to processes involving interconnected supply chains (e.g. multiple vendors and partners contributing en masse to intricate systems) also reduces risks of vulnerabilities at nearly any point in the chain.

Those points should aptly convey the very real importance of securing IIoT.

Companies like Rockwell Automation would agree.

Earlier this week, it was Rockwell, a provider of smart IIoT manufacturing, that made an announcement: It has officially signed a new, definitive agreement to acquire Verve Industrial Protection, a cybersecurity software and services company. Verve’s mission is to help businesses ensure the reliable security of their industrial control systems, and it has been honing that mission by bringing more than 25 years of ICS/OT experience.

So, this acquisition is twofold – Rockwell more tightly locks down automated industrial operations, and it expands asset inventory system and vulnerability management solutions, to boot.

John Livingston, Verve’s CEO, certainly agrees.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to join Rockwell to further secure manufacturers’ assets all around the world,” Livingston said. “Our platform has helped clients mitigate thousands of vulnerabilities, and it will serve as an important addition to Rockwell’s OT cybersecurity solutions, providing actionable intelligence to quickly mitigate security risks, so that manufacturing facilities can stay up and running.”

The acquisition is subject to customary approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of Rockwell’s next fiscal year.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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