Network security company Tenable Inc. today said it has signed a strategic partnership with Siemens AG to assist energy, utilities and oil and gas companies defend against cyberattacks.
The deal will see the launch of “Industrial Security” from Tenable, which Siemens will deliver as a service to help companies secure and protect their critical operational technology assets. Siemens, perhaps best-known to the public for making elevators, is a multinational conglomerate that also provides services to a wide variety of large-scale industrial companies including systems and information technology solutions. Its Digital Services for Energy division provides data-driven services to assist in operations and maintenance along with existing cybersecurity services, which is where Tenable’s product will fit in.
“Organizations running operational technology face a foundational security challenge – the need to understand the entirety of their cyber exposure in the context of a modern attack surface that is constantly evolving,” Tenable Chief Executive Officer Amit Yoran said in a statement. “We’ve seen the rise of cloud, mobile and IoT and now the convergence of IT with OT, which have made critical systems vulnerable to increasingly aggressive adversaries and attacks.”
Emphasizing the growing importance of cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, Yoran cited research from the Ponemon Institute on the state of cybersecurity in the U.S. oil and gas industry finding that 30 percent of cyberattacks now target OT and that the number is growing.
“Cyberattacks against the O&G and utilities sector are on the rise and growing more sophisticated and aggressive by the day,” noted Leo Simonovich, vice president and global head of Industrial Cyber and Digital Security at Siemens Energy. “Passive monitoring of all assets in these systems is critical to detecting and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited and lead to disruption of essential public services like electricity, gas, and water.” Simonovich added that the combination of “Siemens’ deep operational technology expertise and Tenable’s leading cybersecurity technology” will “strengthen defenses in critical infrastructure and other organizations that rely on industrial systems.”
The strategic partnership is a huge win for Columbia, Maryland-based Tenable as it moves towards an eventual initial public offering. The company raised a whopping $250 million in late-stage venture capital in 2015.
Previous CEO Ron Gula said at the time only that the company would let people know when it was ready to IPO. With Yoran coming on board as CEO at the beginning of this year, an IPO might be back on the table, particularly given that both Yoran and co-founder Jack Huffard both hinted at it in interviews last December. Should the company decide to go public next year, it will be one of the largest floats of a security company in recent history.