Honeywell announced Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Nextnine, a privately held provider of security management solutions and technologies for industrial cyber security. The addition of Nextnine’s security solutions and secure remote service capabilities will enhance the company’s existing range of cyber security technologies and significantly increase Honeywell’s Connected Plant cyber security customer base.
Nextnine’s security solutions also will be a key enabler of Honeywell Connected Plant, which combines Honeywell’s industrial expertise, software and digital technologies to make its customers’ operations more reliable, profitable and secure than ever before possible. Cyber security is a critical part of that program.
Honeywell has large industrial cyber security research capabilities and continued to increase its industrial cyber security offerings. Two such solutions are Risk Manager offering to proactively monitor, measure and manage industrial cyber security risks, and Secure Media Exchange (SMX), which protects plants against threats from removable media such as USB flash drives.
Nextnine’s technology, ICS Shield, protects industrial sites from cyber security attacks and enables remote monitoring of assets. It complements Honeywell’s extensive cyber security portfolio with a solution that is used at more than 6,200 sites globally across the oil and gas, utility, chemical, mining and manufacturing sectors. Previously, ICS Shield had to be deployed separately for each control system vendor, resulting in multiple and separate installations at a single customer site.
With this acquisition, customers will be able to deploy and operate a single system, thereby simplifying and better securing their entire site with Honeywell’s proven capability to provide multi-vendor solutions. Founded in 1998, Nextnine has been backed to date by Infinity VC, XT Hi-Tech and several other prominent investors.
“Each day, the number of attempted cyber attacks on industrial facilities and critical infrastructure around the world increases,” said Vimal Kapur, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “This acquisition shows our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with a comprehensive portfolio of cyber security solutions to protect and defend their industrial control systems and process control networks. Honeywell’s extensive global reach will increase Nextnine’s availability to a broader range of customers.”
Last week, Honeywell (Process Solutions (HPS), with the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), will establish a new industrial cyber security center of excellence (COE) for Asia Pacific in Singapore. The COE will feature a cyber security research and development lab, an advanced training facility and a security operations center that provides managed security services. The COE will be located at Honeywell’s office in Singapore’s Changi Business Park and is expected to open by the end of this year. In addition, Honeywell is opening a similar facility in Dubai this year. Honeywell’s first cyber security lab is based in Atlanta.
The new facility in Singapore, which is the first for Asia Pacific, is a further expansion of Honeywell’s global network of innovation centers. The lab will be used for proprietary research and development of new cyber security technologies and products, hands-on training and certifications, and testing and validation of industrial cyber security solutions. It will enable rapid development and introduction of innovative cyber security solutions to the regional and global markets.
The facility will also deliver managed industrial cyber security services to help users reduce the risk of security breaches and proactively improve their security posture. Managed services include continuous security and performance monitoring and alerting, security asset management, and incident response with 24 hour expert support 365 days a year.