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Attivo Networks and the Department of Energy Improve Critical Infrastructure Security

Deception technology leader partners with DOE and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to improve detection and response within the energy industry

Attivo Networks, the award-winning leader in deception for cybersecurity threat detection, announced that the company was awarded a commercialization fund project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) for building out a Deception Defense Platform for Cyber-Physical Systems. With matching funds from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the project is designed to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity capabilities.

“Three key approaches emerged from this research agenda and continue to influence PNNL’s advancement of cybersecurity, science, and technology today”

Securing critical infrastructure remains a top concern for both public and private sector organizations given the potential economic and human safety impact. However, there are unique challenges associated with securing these environments. Many of these devices cannot run anti-virus software, cannot easily be taken offline for software updates, and were not designed to be interconnected. Additionally, traditional security controls were not designed to provide visibility and detection within these operational technology (OT) networks.

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“Three key approaches emerged from this research agenda and continue to influence PNNL’s advancement of cybersecurity, science, and technology today,” said Thomas Edgar, Senior Cyber Security Researcher at PNNL. “One of these areas is Cyber Warrior which improves the readiness of National Cyber Warrior forces through cognitive/decision support technologies. We’ve partnered with Attivo to further develop models that anticipate, detect, and counter cyberthreats.”

“Attacks on our critical infrastructure are no longer theoretical and this partnership ensures deception is a critical component to detection of threat actors,” said Todd Helfrich, Vice President of Federal Sales at Attivo Networks. “Deception technology provides a non-intrusive way to provide layered security across your most critical infrastructure and we are excited to initiate this collaborative engagement with DOE and PNNL.”

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To overcome the challenges associated with quickly detecting and responding to threats in these OT environments, Attivo Networks and PNNL have teamed up to deliver layered security for industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA). Attivo deception technology provides decoys and lures that are designed to efficiently detect and misdirect in-network attacks. The decoys seamlessly deploy in operational technology environments and appear identical to the devices in each organization’s environment.

This project builds upon the company’s momentum in the energy space. Last year, Energy Impact Partners, a leading utility-backed energy investment and innovation firm, became a strategic investor in the company. The funding enabled Attivo Networks to expand its portfolio of energy sector-specific deception technology and increase its go-to-market activities to broaden its customer base of utility companies around the world.

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