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November 9, 2005

Innominate adds plant floor firewall

Innominate Security Technologies AG, a firewall supplier to vertical markets, has launched a hardware-based firewall to secure automated factory-floor systems.

By CBR Staff Writer

The new $800m Guard industrial appliance is designed to protect industrial computers against unauthorized access and various types of data security threats, and comes with optional virus protection powered by anti-virus software from Kaspersky Labs Ltd.

Berlin, Germany-based Innominate Security produces a range of security appliances in form factors that range from dongle to PCI card, blade server and DIN rail devices. Typically, they are used in the non-standard PC-based equipment that can be found in pharmaceutical, manufacturing, utilities, and defense sectors. The venture-backed company occupies a niche in the market and competes mainly with Siemens AG.

CEO Olaf Siemens said the firewall lines are good for any situation where the security of computerized equipment cannot be administered using standard enterprise security procedures. Businesses in the automotive industry that use industrial robots are not allowed to patch those systems in the same way as patch management is handled across the PC LAN, for instance, he said.

Similarly, he said, industries such as pharmaceuticals do not apply standard security procedures when dealing with the automated systems that are used for formulation control during drug manufacture.

The vendor’s configurable mGuard industrial firewall individually protects automation networks using what it calls device attached security, with each system or logically consolidated group individually safeguarded with its own firewall.

The approach ensures high availability because the increased use of TCP/IP and Ethernet in automated production has made industrial networks vulnerable to attack from viruses, worms, hackers, and other forms of malware. The unit offers virus protection, VPN, and hardware encryption, along with audit and centralized SNMP-based management.

The CEO said the business has multinationals such as Roche, Novartis, Audi, and Raytheon among its client base, and said average deal sizes for sales of its firewall lines ranges from 200,000 to 300,000 euros ($235,000 to $350,000).

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Founded in 2001, the embedded firewall vendor took on 4m euros of second-round finance in January 2005 from DVC Deutsche Venture Capital and TecVenture Partners.

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