Pulse Secure Partners with Nozomi Networks in IT/OT Convergence Play
Pulse Secure, the secure access provider, and Nozomi Networks, a provider of operational technology (OT) and IoT security, on Thursday said they’ve teamed up to provide Pulse’s zero-trust protection in a native, unified IT/OT cybersecurity solution for businesses in manufacturing, health care and critical infrastructure sectors that are at the core of the industrial internet of things (IIoT).
The new joint solution protects OT, industrial control systems (ICS) and IIoT infrastructure, and leverages the Pulse Secure zero-trust model to enable organizations to bring IIoT devices out of OT isolation and into the IT realm to increase operational flexibility, reduce time for troubleshooting, and improve uptime and productivity.
“Attackers increasingly use connectivity and IoT device exposures to scan the network for other exploitable targets that provide access to sensitive data or credentials or enable operational disruption. Pulse Secure’s NAC solution provides the necessary visibility and policy-based access management to ensure appropriate IoT device onboarding, monitoring, segregation and risk mitigation,” said Prakash Mana, vice president of product management at Pulse Secure. “By integrating with Nozomi Networks, we can further extend native operational intelligence, access control and threat response capabilities of IIoT devices operating within OT and ICS environments.”
There’s been convergence of IT and OT networks, referred to as IIoT 4.0. Cybersecurity strategies are necessary to address potential exploitation of security gaps between IT ad OT technologies.
An example of this convergence is a user on an IT network logging in remotely to a machine on a manufacturing floor network to monitor it or get data from devices on the floor.
“In the past, those networks [on the factory floor] were isolated from the outside world with their own capabilities, which has its benefits, but also disadvantages in terms of scale or communications and data analytics,” Scott Gordon, chief marketing officer at Pulse Secure, told Channel Futures. “The reason why they merge is for better data communications, better data analysis — and it allows things to be cloud-enabled in terms of control and diagnostics. So, there are a lot of advantages of why there are IT/OT integration trends going on.”
Exposure to the internet, however, brings potential for risk and threats.
Gordon said many of Pulse Secure’s manufacturing customers, for example, want to take the discovery, classification, monitoring and threat response capability and apply it to devices in their OT network. Now they can.
Pulse Secure system integration and VAR partners are typically specialized, often selling into manufacturing environments. With the new native support for Nozomi, Gordon suggests it’s not a big leap for partners to expand their opportunity.