Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring industrial cyber security start-up CyberX to enhance the security features in its Azure Internet of Things (IoT) platform.
The software giant didn't disclose the financial terms of the deal, but some media reports claimed that Microsoft has agreed to pay $165 million for CyberX acquisition.
According to Microsoft, CyberX will "complement the existing Azure IoT security capabilities" and enable it to extend added capabilities to existing devices including those used in Operational Technology, industrial IoT and infrastructure scenarios.
Founded in 2013, CyberX is an Israel-based start-up offering an industrial cyber security platform with a focus on reducing risks for industrial control systems and preventing costly safety failures, production outages and environmental incidents.
According to cyber security experts, connected control systems that help to manage everything from electrical stations to fleets of robots, largely remain unprotected and are continuously targeted by threat actors.
In a survey by Kaspersky in 2018 [pdf], only 23 per cent of companies reported compliance with mandatory directives.
And earlier in 2017, a 29 per cent increase was reported in security vulnerabilities in industrial control systems.
The CyberX platform applies AI-based techniques and behavioural analytics to map out all connected devices in a network and to suggest potential risks from cyber actors. It is not only able to detect malware but also shows unmanaged equipment and systems running on outdated firmware.
CyberX customers include major telecoms carriers, energy utilities, chemical producers and other industrial firms that use a large number of "unmanned" machines for providing essential services.
"With CyberX, customers can see a digital map of thousands of devices across a factory floor or within a building and gather information about their asset profile and vulnerabilities," said Microsoft's cloud and AI security CVP Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk and Azure IoT CVP Sam George in a blog post.
Microsoft and CyberX were already having a business relationship prior to the latest takeover deal. In March, they had announced another deal to integrate Microsoft's Azure cloud platform into CyberX ecosystem.
"By joining forces with Microsoft, we will rapidly scale our business and technology to securely enable digital transformation for many more organizations," said Nir Giller, co-founder and CTO of CyberX.
"Together, CyberX and Microsoft provide an unbeatable solution for gaining visibility and a holistic understanding of risk for all IoT and OT devices in your enterprise," he added.
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