As more critical infrastructure operators and industrial firms are looking to integrate long-isolated informational technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) assets through digital transformation projects, they also are facing increasing cybersecurity threats that could derail their progress and take essential operations offline.
A newly-funded–and newly-renamed–company is aiming to help them avoid such a catastrophe by helping them hide their OT assets in plain sight. Opscura, formerly known as Enigmedia, has raised $9.4 million in Series A funding to help it advance its patented cloaking technology that obscures OT Level 2 networks and Layer 2 data from potential attackers.
The company was founded in San Sebastian, Spain. The new investment is being led by U.S.-based Anzu Partners, along with investments from U.S.-based Dreamit and Spain’s Mundi Ventures.
With the new funding and new name Opscura also is getting new leadership. Opscura co-founders Gerard Vidal and Carlos Tomás will take on the Chief Technology Officer and VP Engineering roles, respectively, as part of a new global management team led by new CEO David Hatchell. The Opscura executive team also includes Chief Product Officer Michael Garrison Stuber, Chief Customer Officer and Chief Information Security Officer Brian Brammeier, and Strategic Advisor Allison J. Taylor, who formerly served as interim Chief Marketing Officer.
“A gap exists in OT protection,” Hatchell told Fierce Electronics. “Purdue Model Level 2 industrial assets [process control systems like Supervisory Contro and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems] are typically only tapped for data to monitor for threats. There has traditionally been an issue securing at this level due to proprietary, varied legacy protocols and a lack of high-speed solutions. Opscura is able to cloak the assets, making them invisible to anyone unauthorized. You can’t hack what you can’t see.”
Opscura’s cloaking capability happens at the Ethernet layer, “meaning an attacker has no way to infer the nature of the assets below it, unlike other technologies which will allow some discovery of the source and destination IP,” Hatchell added.
The start-up’s approach has been tested and validated by major players in the industrial control systems (ICS) market, such as Schneider Electric.
Francesc Juan, CTO Spain for Schneider Electric, stated, “We have been impressed with the power and simplicity of Opscura’s security solution as part of our Schneider Electric Exchange Technology Partner program.”
Opscura said its technology is complementary to other ICS ecosystem solutions from Claroty, Nozomi, Fortinet, and more. Customers across various industries, including renewable energy, transportation, manufacturing, government, and chemical, are implementing it as they continue to advance their digital transformation projects.
“We simplify the urgent need to protect and safely connect critical infrastructure by helping customers with an easy 1-2-3 approach: gain visibility deeper into their network, segment the network, and more easily connect to threat monitoring solutions,” Hatchell said. “We understand the demands of plant operations and that security is just one of many pressing concerns.”
He added, “We definitely see changes in how organizations want to approach cybersecurity comprehensively, across IT and OT, and face challenges in how teams are organized and equipped to address security on the ground. Since customers are varied in their cybersecurity fluency, we recommend first recognizing your current state, and then working to layer in defenses.”