By Mike Miracle, SVP Marketing and Strategy
Last month BlackRidge exhibited at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Our booth was in the IoT Infrastructure Pavilion hosted by the IoT M2M Council, the only exhibit area at CES dedicated to the Internet of things. Because of the distance from the main show, most of the attendees at the pavilion – including Raytheon, Caterpillar, the National Institute of Health, NEC, Rockwell and CERN – were there to find IoT solutions for business and factory automation.
We provided two demonstrations of our cyber defense solutions for IoT, including an initial version of the new BlackRidge TAC identity device (TAC-ID). This new product provides identity for authenticating network connections for new and legacy equipment in factories, hospitals and critical infrastructure architectures. Having authenticated identity for IoT devices is needed to segment and segregate them to support the secure convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) networks.
Ours was one of busiest booths in the IoT Pavilion, as people from a wide variety of industries — and from all over the world — stopped by to learn how to secure their IoT devices from being hacked, and how to enable the secure convergence of OT and IT needed to support their digital transformation initiatives, including factory automation and critical infrastructure protection. We collected over 400 qualified leads and discussed at least 10 product trial opportunities. Some prospects even asked to purchase our new TAC-ID at the show.
The IoT security demonstrations were particularly well received, indicating that there is strong interest in using an identity-based approach to secure IoT devices on IT and/or OT networks. Further, we demonstrated how our solution can be applied now to existing legacy or brownfield environments and evolved over time to become an embedded capability within our partners’ products.
BlackRidge booth in action in the IoT Pavilion at CES 2019
Our partners were excited by the new TAC-ID product and our TAC endpoint technology, and eager to learn how they can leverage it. Ian Fountain, director of technical marketing for IIoT at National Instruments, said, “BlackRidge TAC-ID will help our IIoT customers add more layers of security as they deploy our technology to collect sensor-based asset-health data from critical equipment. It will be a valuable addition to the growing ecosystem of technology compatible with National Instruments’ CompactRIO systems that our customers will use to meet their ever-evolving security needs.”
The launch of TAC-ID earned some positive press coverage as well. SD Times named BlackRidge’s technology as one of the top 12 standout devices and announcements at CES, along with technologies from Intel, IBM, Samsung and other household names. BlackRidge was one of ABI Research’s 14 compelling technology findings from CES, and was the only company mentioned in the Digital Security Section. IoT Evolution and Design Engineering also highlighted our new product.
The enthusiasm we saw at CES validates the immediate need to protect IoT devices in legacy environments and confirms that the lack of security is slowing IT and OT convergence, holding back digital transformation, and has now become a competitive issue for factory automation. In a recent briefing with Gartner’s lead IoT research analyst, she summarized the challenge smartly, noting that security is gating industrial IoT growth rates and BlackRidge could accelerate this growth with microsegmentation and TAC-ID.
Contact us to learn more about how BlackRidge can help secure your OT and IoT environments and enable your business automation and digital transformation projects.