Michael talks to Rick Peters, CISO Operational Technology, Fortinet
By Michael Morris, Director of Global Business Development, Endace
Increasingly, the security of Operational Technology (OT) – Industrial Control Systems and SCADA – is a major focus of concern. These systems are used in many environments across industries such as manufacturing, transportation, energy, critical infrastructure and many more, and are a juicy target for both sophisticated, nation-state attackers and cybercriminals.
In this episode of the Endace Packet Forensic files I talk with Rick Peters, CISO Operational Technology at Fortinet. With a long career in engineering and almost four decades in US Intelligence before taking on his role at Fortinet, Rick knows intimately how attackers can target OT systems and has spent many years helping to defend OT systems from cyber attackers.
Rick talks about the importance of being able to trust in OT environments: in their ability to continue to provide safe and continuous business, and how we can bring some of the discipline that has been developed in IT cyberdefense into the OT environment. He outlines the importance of “consequence-driven strategy” – a deep understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities that a given system presents, coupled with a thorough assessment of the consequences of a successful compromise. As well as the importance of having a well-planned, and tested, response plan that addresses both IT and OT systems.
Rick has some great advice for cybersecurity leaders about where to start building a robust OT security posture and the importance of having IT security and OT security working in parallel. You won’t want to miss this episode!
Other episodes in the Secure Networks video/audio podcast series are available here.
Endace’s Michael Morris recently caught up with the team at Cybernews to discuss the current threat landscape, and how Endace is helping organizations improve their incident response and reduce time-to-resolution.
Our six interns for our Summer 2021/22 Internship Program joined us in our R&D centre in Hamilton, NZ from the Universities of Auckland and Waikato. Their 13 week R.E.A.L (Remarkable, Enjoyable, Authentic, Learning) Internship Program saw them working individually on commercially relevant, meaningful projects with the support of their managers and mentors. We are pleased to say it was another highly successful year!
Because of Covid lockdowns, the interns’ introduction to Endace was virtual this year – and so too were their final presentations.
The Internship Program concluded with each of the interns presenting their individual projects to an audience. This year the audience included Endace team members from five countries: project managers and mentors as well as all the members of our Senior Leadership Team. We were also very happy to welcome faculty members from the University of Waikato, continuing our strong link with the original birthplace of Endace – very appropriate in our 20th year!
The interns gave an overview of their projects and the specific challenges they were trying to address. They discussed the design of their solutions, implementation challenges they had faced, and also demonstrated their solutions in action. They concluded by outlining how these projects could be applied – and potentially extended further – in the future. At the end of each presentation, audience members had an opportunity to ask questions and delve deeper into the outcomes of the project.
Elements of Success
Throughout Endace’s structured Internship Program, interns get to hone their technical skills and put their university knowledge into practice. But beyond just acquiring technical skills, interns also have an opportunity to gain an understanding of all the different areas of Endace’s business – from sales and marketing, to finance and operations. They also get to develop their communication and organisational skills by interacting with members of the Endace team from many departments.
The interns are supported throughout the Internship Program by individual managers and mentors. They get to observe how teams work together cohesively – in an environment where ideas are respected and individuals are trusted to do their best work. It was fantastic to see these learnings reflected in the intern’s final presentations.
Our managers and mentors also benefit hugely from the Internship program – which provides a great opportunity to build leadership skills in their intern support roles and gives them the satisfaction of seeing the impact of sharing their expertise.
Following the presentations, Stuart Wilson, Endace’s CEO, summed up everybody’s thoughts when he said “it constantly amazes me how much interns can achieve in a relatively short period of time!” He emphasised the importance of Endace’s determination that intern projects should be real, commercially-focused projects – and talked about how the intern projects have helped shape product improvement, automation, being able to scale our testing environments and customer experience for Endace.
Endace’s CTO, Stephen Donnelly, commented that an important outcome of the Endace Internship Program is that it supports the wider R&D sector and helps New Zealand prepare future engineers with exposure to cutting edge cybersecurity technology. Cybersecurity is an increasingly important industry world-wide, and increasing students familiarity with key challenges, tools and technologies is vital in upskilling the NZ sector.
At Endace we are proud of our interns’ achievements thus far and look forward to following their future accomplishments in the industry. As we conclude another successful program we will now look forward to the next round in Spring, bringing in further perspectives, learning and career development to Endace.