Major acquisition strengthens war on Stuxnet and other malware

Byres Security has been acquired by Belden! Byres recently have been in the forefront of the battle against the malware known as Stuxnet – see Abominable security commitment! But before that they are well known for their work in ensuring the security of process automation through their Tofino system designed to protect industrial networks, SCADA systems and process control facilities from external cyber threats and internal network incidents.

Eric's war against Stuxnet will be strengthened by deal!

A new awareness!

A recent Pike Research report states:
“Industrial Control System (ICS) Security, including SCADA security, was ignored by most… until recently – Stuxnet changed all that. Nearly overnight, ICS security went from a non-issue to being critical.”
The positive side of Stuxnet is that awareness and action about ICS and SCADA Security has increased dramatically since it was discovered.
Now, as part of Belden, we look forward to making our vision of robust security tailored for industrial requirements a reality in many, many sites around the world.

What does this mean?
In a statement on their site that the company “will run as an independent business unit under Belden, and the Tofino Security brand will remain the same.” Thus they will continue:

•    Developing technology for robust industrial control system security
•    Helping companies adopt industrial security solutions
•    Advocating for a higher level of industrial cyber security within organizations
•    Contributing to the development of industrial cyber security standards

Joann Byres and Eric Byres will carry on leading Byres Security, with Joann as General Manager and VP and Eric as CTO and VP Engineering, and “we are committed to developing the business for many years.  Our experienced BSI team remains intact.”

Existing Tofino Security product lines will be actively developed, sold and supported. Red and blue Tofino Security Appliances are going to continue to appear in factories and plants around the world, only in more shapes and sizes.

“Our partners, who have been key to our success, will continue to remain very important to us.  We look forward to continuing to work with MTL Instruments, Honeywell, Invensys and all of our Tofino Certified VARs and SIs.”

So why this new arrangement?
A principal reason  doing this deal is that it provides them with the support needed to realise the market potential of Tofino Security. Inevitably there will be changes. Some of the things that will change are:

• Investment in R&D and product development will increase
• Tofino Security technology will be incorporated into Belden’s industrial networking and automation products, including embedded products (“Security by Tofino”)
• The BSI product line will be expanded to include a wider range of hardware platforms

And Belden?
They had been working with the Hirschmann group in Belden for about two years and maintained a strong working relationship with them, having completed technology integration projects with them.
Belden is already using Tofino Security technology in its Eagle line of security products, and BIS use Belden’s Hirschmann hardware in many of their Tofino Security products.
So it is felt that there is good synergy between the companies’ technologies and capabilities, and they believe that bringing the two entities together will result in leadership in both industrial networking and industrial security.

Joann Byres & Eric Byres

In a statement commenting on the news Joann Byres, VP and General Manager, Byres Security said,  “The deal is beneficial to us because it provides financial and organizational support for realizing the market potential of Tofino Security technology. The industrial control system security market is growing quickly, and now, as part of Belden we will be able to truly to seize the opportunity.”

Eric Byres, CTO and VP Engineering also commented,  “Industrial Control System and SCADA operators have experienced a wake-up call over the last year with a large number of PLC vulnerabilities disclosed and with the Stuxnet cyber attack.  There is now high interest in improving cyber security at both the plant and management levels of organizations.”

“As part of Belden we will be able to fully realize the potential of Tofino Security technology and make our vision of robust security tailored for industrial requirements a reality in many, many sites around the world. This is a terrific opportunity and we look forward to joining Belden and making it happen.”

Peter Fröhlich, Ph.D., Director R&D for Belden’s industrial networking business gave his view.  “BSI is a leading provider of industrial control system security and their Tofino Security technology will strengthen Belden’s position as the world’s leading provider of complete industrial networking solutions. As an independent business entity within Belden, BSI will continue its growth and success and contribute to our vision of delivering secure communications to mission critical networking solutions.”

“We already use BSI’s technology in our EAGLE line of security products and intend to leverage it across our entire industrial networking product portfolio, particularly the Hirschmann and GarrettCom industrial network products.”

“This will also include embedded offerings, providing customers with “Secured by Tofino” inside their networking and automation equipment. BSI will also expand its industrial security product portfolio with a greater range of hardware platforms.”

Other reports:
Automation World: Belden Acquires Canadian-Based Byres Security (1/9/2011)
ControlGlobal: Belden acquires Byres Security Inc! (1/9/2011)
Digital Bond: Belden/Hirschmann Buys Byres Security/Tofino(1/9/2011)
ISS Source (The Shield): Belden Deals for Byres Security (1/9/2011)

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