Cisco to Acquire Sentryo, a Pioneer of Cybersecurity Solutions for the Industrial IoT

Cisco to Acquire Sentryo, a Pioneer of Cybersecurity Solutions for the Industrial IoT

June 7, 2019 Off By Hoofer

Written by David Marshall

Looking to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) security and management offerings, Cisco announced its intention to acquire Sentryo, makers of an industrial IoT (IIoT) platform that offers anomaly detection and real-time threat detection.  Sentryo, founded in 2014, has raised $13.5 million to date in seed and series A founding rounds.

With organizations digitizing and connecting their industrial operations, the combination of Cisco network architecture and Sentryo capabilities of giving visibility into industrial control systems will help companies deploy Industrial IoT at scale, achieve new levels of flexibility, and better protect their assets and data.

Cisco stated Sentryo’s platform addresses the challenges business face when deploying IoT projects, in terms of scaling to production and managing and securing infrastructure.  The goal is to merge Sentryo with Cisco’s intent-based networking technology, which Cisco has been integrating across its enterprise access portfolio to help customers manage more users and devices. 

“With these IoT devices lacking modern embedded software and security capabilities, segmentation will be the key technology to allow communication from operational assets to the rightful systems, and reduce risk of cyber security incidents like we saw with WannaCry and Norsk Hydro,” explains Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things Business Group.

Centoni went on to say this acquisition will help customers with three problems:

  • Visibility: Network enabled passive deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities to discover IoT and OT assets, and establish the communication patterns between devices and systems. Sentryo’s sensor is natively deployable on Cisco’s IOx framework, it can be built into the industrial network these devices run on instead of adding additional hardware. With Cisco recently being named the leader in Industrial Edge Networking by IHS Markit, Sentryo will add tremendous value for our customers including those operating industrial control systems in oil and gas, electric utilities, building automation, mining operations, chemical processing facilities, and more.
  • Segmentation: As the device identification and communication patterns are created, Cisco will integrate this with DNA Center and Identity Services Engine (ISE) to allow customers to easily define segmentation policy and specific actions. This integration will allow OT teams to leverage the IT security teams expertise to secure their environments, without risk to the operational processes.
  • Operations: For OT users, Sentryo also provides Operational visibility like PLC Start/Stop, operational events, as well as programming changes being made to PLCs, RTUs, and other industrial devices. With these capabilities OT can ensure maximum uptimes, production yields, improve safety, while maintain a robust cyber security posture.

“We are very proud that the technology developed by Sentryo has been chosen by Cisco to become the cornerstone of the group’s IoT security offering,” said Thierry Rouquet and Laurent Hausermann, Sentryo’s co-Founders.  “This is an important sign of recognition for the entire Sentryo team that we will continue to grow to offer the best technology enabling global organizations to ensure continuity, resilience and safety of their industrial operations.”

Both companies expect the acquisition to close before the end of Cisco’s first-quarter fiscal year 2020 in October, though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Sentryo will be Cisco’s second acquisition this year after it acquired Singularity back in January for its network analytics technology.

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About the Author

David Marshall is an industry recognized virtualization and cloud computing expert, an eleven time recipient of the VMware vExpert distinction, and has been heavily involved in the industry for the past 20+ years.  To help solve industry challenges, he co-founded and helped start several successful virtualization software companies such as ProTier, Surgient, Hyper9 and Vertiscale. He also spent a number of years transforming desktop virtualization while at Virtual Bridges.

David is an author of two very popular server virtualization books and the Technical Editor on Wiley’s “Virtualization for Dummies” and “VMware VI3 for Dummies” books.  David authored countless articles for a number of well known technical magazines, including: InfoWorld, Virtual-Strategy and TechTarget.  In 2004, he founded the oldest independent virtualization and cloud computing news site, VMblog.com, which he still operates today.

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