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20 May, 2022

Software is ‘first’ to predict OT failures and spot cyber risks

28 March, 2022

An Israeli cybersecurity specialist claims to have created the world’s first software that combines predictions of possible OT (operational technology) failures with cybersecurity detection in a single user-friendly package. IXDen’s patented technology analyses data from sensors and industrial equipment to spot anomalies in data transactions that could signal possible cyberattacks or OT failures.

The autonomous machine learning (ML) and AI software creates a dynamic behavioural model of each device, both in isolation and as part of interrelated processes. The software monitors all data transactions at the sensor level, spotting any changes in behaviour that might signal a possible cyberattack or equipment failure.

IXDen says its technology, in effect, creates a biometric identity and multi-factor authentication for industrial equipment.

“The vast majority of sensor data is handled by local controllers and most of the time is not propagated upward,” explains the company’s vice-president of business development, Shimon Peretz. “Much of the data sent to the Scada system is not raw data from the sensors, but the data that has already been processed. As such, its veracity cannot be determined.

“The IXDen solution analyses 100% of the data at the physical layer, where it is generated – whether this is on sensors or industrial equipment – enabling real-time detection of OT malfunctions and cyberattacks,” he continues. “This data visibility allows the operation team to validate overall health and reliability of the OT system.”

The data is used to summarise OT health as a single numerical score, that is indicated by a performance “traffic light” as being red, orange or green. Using these values, operations managers can monitor complete OT systems at a glance, and can drill down to the root causes of problems.

IXDen co-founder Zion Harel: helping companies to save millions

IXDen’s software has already been installed at Israel’s national water company Mekorot, where it is estimated that its ability to predict OT failures could save the utility millions of dollars every year. Mekorot's supply network includes 13,000km of pipelines, 3,000 water production plant and 25 desalination sites – a well as millions of sensors.

The software is helping to detect anomalies in this network to improve predictive maintenance and cybersecurity. It has been able to predict failures many days in advance – in some cases, up to 60 days before an event might occur. These failures were not detected by systems that Mekorot already had in place.

“With the successful launch of our software solution in Israel gaining more attention, we are working on expanding our market to the US and Europe,” says Zion Harel, IXDen’s co-founder and co-CEO. “We are happy to continue our global expansion to enable OT failure prediction and cybersecurity while helping companies in the utilities, defence and smart building industries to save millions.”

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