Tell us about your journey. What led you to the IoT space?
We got our start in the cyber security space back in 2016, but we quickly discovered that our customers had a much bigger problem. From access points to cameras to building management systems, most enterprises have thousands of IoT devices powering mission-critical security and operations use cases. Yet, they have no centralized way of understanding if all of these devices are available and secure. This ends up putting organizations and their operations at risk, and drives up maintenance costs.
That’s why we eventually expanded the platform to meet all of these operational challenges, which is what we focus on today. And the market is glad we did. We have dozens of customers across a number of industries — government / law enforcement, airports, healthcare facilities and more — that rely on us to automate the security and management of their IoT devices. We also just raised a $14M round of funding and we’re growing fast.
How has the IoT device stack evolved in the last few years, and what challenges does that present for companies?
Managing the stack of IoT devices in a large organization can be challenging. We often see organizations with a multitude of connected devices — thousands, sometimes tens of thousands — running on a single network with no way to manage them in a unified way. To make matters more complicated, the devices often come from different vendors with different software, and integrate with a number of third-party systems. This puts a lot of pressure on operations teams to ensure that each individual device is running properly, secure, and up to date with the latest firmware / software.
We’ve heard you mention IoTOps quite a bit. Can you define that for our audience?
Sure. IoTOps encompasses all operational teams that are accountable for the deployment of IoT devices, their availability and their cyber security. These teams are responsible for monitoring the device status, directing technicians, defining and implementing organizational policies, resolving operational issues, overseeing upgrades, and more.
We can categorize the capabilities required for IoTOps in three buckets:
– cyber security,
– predictive maintenance and
– automated operations.
These capabilities are critical for IoT-based organizations and for the IoT teams within these organizations.
You specialize in automation for both the security and the operations side of IoT devices. Can you break that down for us, and why is this critical for companies today?
We are focused on serving the teams responsible for the daily operations and security of the devices as well as their partner systems integrators. We are fully dedicated to bringing them the best system possible, while adding new features and providing innovative technology.
Managing large-scale deployments of IoT devices represents multiple challenges for organizations. From a cyber security perspective, any device can become an easy entry point to the network, data and assets. Therefore, cyber threats must be detected and mitigated at the device level. In parallel, the operational teams are mostly performing multiple maintenance tasks manually. Both aspects can result in operational and business discontinuity along with compliance issues.
Our flagship solution, Horizon, automates several operational tasks — e.g., password rotation, firmware upgrades, device restarts and more —which are currently performed manually, resulting in timely and costly maintenance expenses for companies. It helps operators reduce those costs by allowing them to remotely manage their IoT deployments at scale. In addition, Horizon shortens device lifecycles by automatically updating firmware versions ad-hoc.
The combination of the above helps companies experience a dramatic reduction in overhead costs. Also, there isn’t anyone out there doing both security and operations with the level of technology that we have. It’s a complicated problem. You need to solve all kinds of use cases – i.e., types of devices, versions, use cases. It’s tough to do it right.
AI and automation seem to be powering everything around us these days. Can you tell us about that side of your technology?
With the complexity and scalability of IoT deployments, AI is an indispensable component for any relevant system.
SecuriThings Horizon uses advanced analytics to fetch and normalize data from multiple IoT environments (management systems, edge devices, infrastructure / IT components). Then, the solution applies advanced AI capabilities to create a unique profile for each system entity. Then deviations are analyzed to predict failures, pinpoint issues, and recommend possible solutions. Furthermore, the system is deployed with knowledge from issues already confirmed, so it can provide value from the very first day.
Automation is a key part of Horizon as it helps organizations manage these large-scale deployments. The solution automates a set of operations for each device to ensure its availability and security (password rotation, firmware upgrade, device restart, etc.)
What advice would you have for a budding IoTOps professional entering the space today?
When we first framed the IoTops category, we understood how broad it is. In fact, operators must pay attention to both the operational and cybersecurity aspects of their devices. Just as our technology, we had – as a company and individuals – to be flexible in order to solve the most critical pain points our customers had.
With this flexibility, we can provide value to customers, based on the challenges they face, ranging from operational to security issues, compliance, limited resources, and overhead costs.
What does the future hold for IoT tech? Are there visionary technologies you are particularly excited about?
Until now, IoT was considered science fiction in many industries: impressive technologies, with limited deployments and very costly. We believe in a new generation of IoT technologies that provide business value to organizations such as cost savings by helping them solve operational challenges like reducing on-site maintenance.
We at SecuriThings are excited about the introduction of 5G, with more and more connected devices requiring holistic support. It will be interesting to see how organizations embrace these new connectivity technologies.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Kevin Ashton, tech pioneer who coined the “Internet of Things”
Thank you, Roy! That was fun and we hope to see you back on iTechnologyseries.com soon.
Roy Dagan is CEO and & Co-founder of SecuriThings. He started the company after many years of building cyber security, risk management and intelligence systems. Prior to SecuriThings, Roy held multiple roles leading product management teams in a range of companies including RSA, The Security Division of EMC and NICE Systems.
SecuriThings enables organizations to protect their IoT devices while maximizing their operational efficiency. SecuriThings Horizon is the first IoTOps solution to provide risk detection, predictive maintenance and automated operations, in one unified view.
The software-only solution has been deployed in major airports, universities, cities and large enterprises, and is already monitoring millions of devices globally.