Last night, Seattle Business Magazine honored our company at its 7th annual Tech Impact Award, which recognizes companies in Washington state that are using technology to impact business, industry or society. I found the mix of ‘technology’ inspiring, as the list of finalists went well beyond conventional technology; ranging from space travel to concussion prevention.
Family Tech Support with Identity-Defined Networking
Since I write software for a living, I end up being the “IT guy” for my entire family. This is not limited to my immediate family; we’re talking mom, wife’s mom, our friends, their kids, their parents, etc. Most of the time, they are nowhere near Seattle, so a lot of computer help ends up being done over the phone. Most of my family’s questions fall into three categories:
(1) setting up a computer / network / printer
(2) dealing with Google, Apple, or Facebook
(3) “I think I got hacked”
I recently had an opportunity to chat with Byron Acohido of ThirdCertainty to explain how our Identity Defined Network, and HIP help make systems more secure. During our talk, Byron and I discussed the origins of the Tempered Networks solution within Boeing and the benefits they were able to derive to help make their aircraft production more efficient. And because HIP creates an overlay network, it is non-disruptive to legacy systems.
With over 25 years of working in industrial automation and controls in the manufacturing and utility industries, I’ve seen a variety of industry trends, problems, and associated solutions come and go. Most recently, I’ve noticed an increasing urgency in the need to protect critical assets from invasive cyberattacks, especially within the last five years. Simultaneously, with the influx of solutions in the IIoT market the requirement is growing for a number of critical end-points to be connected faster than ever.
Over the course of my career I have become familiar with many of the different ways that hackers and other bad actors can penetrate an IP network. With the growing sophistication of these cyber criminals, I hear more and more customers talk about the need to implement a Cyber Kill Chain (CKC) strategy for when their network gets compromised. Though there is some controversy about the specifics of the CKC model, there is little argument that we need an effective way to quickly analyze and address cyber-attacks when they occur.
I love customers who are delighted with our solution, and we’re getting more and more of them all the time. For example:
One of our customers is a large public university system that had the challenge of securely connecting BACnet systems in over 500 buildings across the state. Adding to the difficulty, they had an extremely tight 3-month timeline, could add zero headcount and had only a limited budget to work with.
A potential customer recently told me a frightening story. The IT department spent weeks planning, and configuring the IP network for new high-speed printers in the finance department. When they went to install the printers, all they received was a networking error. Simultaneously, across campus, the network connected elevators in another building went haywire. All because of an IP conflict between the printers and the elevators. Imagine if the elevators were in a hospital and full of patients. The scenario is scary, and all too real in the age of converged networks.