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Darktrace secures Scada as cyberattacks on industry rise

Cyber-spies take machine learning tool away from standard enterprise.

By Jimmy Nicholls

The cybersecurity firm Darktrace has extended its analytics technology to cover critical industries with the launch of its Industrial Immune System.

The behavioural analytics suite is said to allow companies to more closely monitor what is happening within their systems, working through machine learning which builds up a picture of the system’s habits and can flag for anomalies.

Nicole Eagan, chief executive of Darktrace, said: "By studying the behavior of the control system itself, not the industrial process that it manages, we can provide increased confidence that the control system in functioning as intended.

"The Industrial Immune System’s fundamental ability to detect previously-unidentified cyber threats within Scada and other operational technology systems is a world-first, helping operators meaningfully improve the resilience of our nations’ critical infrastructure, and the safety of the people that work in these environments."

Industrial security has become an increasing concern for business and governments as companies connect more of their equipment to the Internet to improve efficiency and open up new functions.

Of particular concern is the integrity of industrial control systems and supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) systems, which could give criminals, terrorists and militaries the ability to disrupt and destroy public utilities.

Earlier this month Dell reported that attacks on Scada sytems doubled in 2014 – a trend that is looking unlikely to reverse over the coming years.

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"Nothing is foolproof in the modern-day challenge of cybersecurity, especially when it comes to protecting complex Scada systems," said Peter Emery, group operations director at the power company Drax, a long-time customer of Darktrace.

"Darktrace has transformed our ability to pre-empt threats, by shining a light into our production environments and helping us focus our investigations."

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