SIMPLE Operational Technology

Bear Systems is building on its next generation cybersecurity platform to provide a range of SIMPLE (Secure Integrated ML Platform Leveraging Expertise) solutions for the world’s most pressing needs.  This blog entry is one of a series of introductions showing how Bear can provide a SIMPLE solution for specific vertical challenges.

I love talking with Operational Technology (OT) operators about technology and cybersecurity.  It mostly goes along the lines of this:

Me: “Hi, we are looking to provide you with secure SIMPLE solutions for your mission”

OT Person: groan…

Me: “I understand that, up until now, vendors have attempted to shove IT down your throat…”

OT Person: “Wait, you know that IT and OT are different?!?”

Me: “Yes”

OT Person: Immense Grin

The reality is that every cybersecurity solution on the market is focused on IT and nobody knows, or apparently cares, about OT.  To understand this issue, it is first very important to understand IT vs. OT.  IT is focused on the protection, transmission, and storage of information.  That’s it, IT absolutely does not care about the mission or stable operations, none of that matters.

OT, on the other hand, is focused on the use of information, the people running those systems, and actually producing outcomes that are meaningful in real life.  OT primarily focuses on stable operations, efficient performance, and the safety of personnel.  Any disruption is incredibly harmful and are avoided at all reasonable costs.  Misconfiguration is the primary concern of OT whereas cybersecurity is the main driver in IT.

Understanding why all cybersecurity is purely IT-focused is simple when those solutions are reviewed.  Almost all of these options are intrusive to install, they require cybersecurity experts that disrupt operations, and they all enforce a manual remediation solution that results in even more disruption.  In fact, you can find innumerable solutions that tout their ability to find and shutdown servers as quickly as possible.  While that might be fine from an IT perspective, it is a complete disaster from an OT perspective.

Compounding these issues is the fact that all of the solutions that are pushed to OT operators for better control over their environments are also IT driven.  Those solutions tout massive amounts of unactionable data that, almost every time, produce some random chart or graph that does little to nothing to actually resolve OT concerns.  These issues are addressed in our blog post on SIMPLE Manufacturing.

SIMPLE OT, which is a superset of SIMPLE Manufacturing, is actually focused on OT challenges – stable operations, personnel safety, and actionable, concise, visualizations.  Each of these areas is driven by Domain Expertise that is encapsulated into reusable, visual, tools that can empower nonexperts and be further leveraged by our distributed Deep Learning system to solve more problems at scale.  To understand how SIMPLE OT works you can read our blog post on SIMPLE Security.

The main point is that SIMPLE OT is focused on mission stability through nonintrusive Domain Expert Profiles.  These profiles ensure everything from the proper configuration of devices and systems to proactive, and thus zero downtime, maintenance options, to sophisticated energy optimization capabilities.  Outside of cybersecurity, however, the power of these profiles is driven by the customer and private for your needs.

SIMPLE OT provides a visual interface that overcomes all of those disparate vendor device issues, removes cables in a highly secure manner, and can readily change complex system configurations on the fly leveraging Domain Expertise throughout.

There is obviously more, much more, to our SIMPLE OT solution and, if you are interested, please contact us to learn more!