Network Perception: Ensuring OT Network Security with Greater Visibility

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Robin Berthier, CEO and Co-Founder, Network PerceptionRobin Berthier, CEO and Co-Founder
As technology continues to delve deeper into every facet of businesses, we’re witnessing a transition of systems from analog to digital—which have gained massive acceleration post pandemic. Unlike its counterpart, digital systems are connected to networks for better operability, leaving their target surfaces vulnerable to cyber attacks. This holds true particularly for industrial control systems (ICS) or OT networks. Needless to say, a breach of these critical assets can disrupt organizations’ entire business operations. An excellent example is the recent ransomware attack on the IT infrastructure of the Colonial Pipeline, which put their OT network on halt, and ultimately their operations.

With several such incidents making headlines today, Network Perception, a leader in providing cybersecurity to industrial control systems, reckons the need to disrupt the way we design and protect OT networks to keep them from cybercriminals. “It’s vital for critical environments to implement systematic network segmentation and to gain a holistic view of how things are connected through independent network verification and visualization,” says Robin Berthier, the CEO and Co-Founder of Network Perception.

Through network segmentation, organizations can separate critical assets from the rest of their network, restricting access to a few specific systems strictly on a need-to-know basis. Independent verification helps them eliminate misconfigurations in network devices’ access policies and overly permissive rules that lead to unintended access.

Another aspect that organizations need today is keeping their network monitoring solution independent from their network management solution. A read-only monitoring approach serves this requisite by preventing the monitoring team from making any changes in the network fabric while providing them the independent reports they need to verify the correctness of network configuration and securitycontrol implementation. This is precisely where Network Perception’s robust network modeling solution helps. Since its inception in 2014, the company has been focusing on strengthening organizations’ cyber resiliency through unprecedented visibility into networks and access policies. Clients can check for the integrity of firewall configurations and highlight issues such as overly permissive rules and cyber risks embedded within by leveraging the company’s platform

“At Network Perception, we specialize in protecting OT networks by ensuring network access security as the first line of perimeter defense,” adds Berthier.

Network Perception achieves this goal with a pioneering software platform that provides complete network transparency and continuous mapping to better support cybersecurity compliance and enables greater cyber resiliency. Designed with an intuitive and simple architecture, clients can easily ingest configuration files of firewalls, routers, and switches—either offline or using connectors. The platform then creates a visual topology of the network, where the compliance and security teams can have a holistic view of the network. This is followed by a comprehensive risk assessment, where the solution automatically checks for security issues, overly permissive accesses, and misconfigurations.
Network Perception’s solution features an exceptional path analysis capability, where it can compute all connections within the network and without requiring direct access to network devices. Unlike a typical OT network traffic analysis solution, it identifies what can connect to what, helping clients gain a comprehensive understanding of how their network is configured. Another aspect that makes the solution unique is its ability to add context to the vulnerabilities within clients’ networks along with helping them prioritize risk areas. Having the data contextualization feature built-in helps security and compliance teams gain operational speed.

Though the platform is designed to address the modeling, visualization, and verification needs of both IT and OT networks, it primarily serves the needs of industrial control systems, owing to its ability to audit networks without touching them. As an extremely lightweight and robust solution, it can meet clients’ resiliency goals while allowing them to go up and running quickly.

Our solution has gained reputation for its velocity and prowess in helping organizations mitigate change management challenges pertaining to OT network access,” adds Berthier.

In instances where the firewall team introduced changes into network configurations, they may failed to ensure those changes comply with all regulatory requirements and security controls. To this end, Network Perception’s platform provides them with instant access to an up-todate network topology 24/7, as opposed to conventional visual diagrams. Having a complete view into their network fabric allows them to streamline their change management operations. The review team now has to run change proposals through Network Perception’s platform to understand their impacts prior to pushing them into production. More importantly, no proposals without approval can be implemented in their critical environment. The company’s platform also comes with a database that keeps track of all network changes, providing easy access to the complete history of the network.

At Network Perception, we specialize in protecting OT networks by ensuring network access security as the first line of perimeter defense

As an agile cybersecurity company, we are continuously innovating to better support the cyber resiliency needs of critical networks,” concludes Berthier.
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Network Perception

Network Perception

Chicago, IL

Robin Berthier, CEO and Co-Founder

Offers a robust software platform that provides complete network transparency and continuous mapping to better support cybersecurity compliance and enables greater cyber resiliency