Darktrace announces PREVENT/OT to pre-empt cyber attacks on critical infrastructure

Darktrace recently announced the availability of Darktrace PREVENT/OT, a product that identifies the paths adversaries may take to attempt to disrupt the operations of critical infrastructure. This unique approach uses AI to “think like an attacker” to visualize pathways within IT and OT that lead to critical infrastructure assets, empowering defenders to harden environments and stay steps ahead of the adversary.

PREVENT/OT is part of the Darktrace/OT product family, protecting complex industrial environments against known and unknown attacks, using self-learning AI to discover and identify assets and detect subtle deviations that point to a cyber-threat. First launched in 2015, Darktrace/OT DETECT and RESPOND are currently used by hundreds of critical infrastructure companies in utilities including electric, water, oil & gas, maritime, and transportation.

“In one of our early adopters Darktrace AI found a complete viable attack path from a public email account to a deeply protected and active production PLC (Programmable Logic Controller): a vital component of all Industrial Control Systems. The organization was not aware this long, but complete path spanning both IT and OT systems existed. Some steps were not simple to exploit, but fundamentally a committed attacker could have followed this path and could have manipulated the controller logic, sound alarms, or even worse start and stop processes impacting the operation of the entire facility” said Jeffrey Macre, Industrial Security Solutions Architect at Darktrace.

“We are incredibly proud to support the many critical infrastructure organizations that we do today and are excited to deliver this new capability to prevent the worst-case attacks before they can happen. We are seeing great interest from customers in these capabilities.”

The company signed several new deals with critical infrastructure organizations across the globe in the last three months including new customers, renewals and expanded contracts within the critical infrastructure industry. Darktrace already defends customers across all 16 critical infrastructure sectors designated by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the US.

The deals underscore a paradigm shift occurring around the globe that sees governments putting in place new mandates and rules requiring more robust cyber protections in critical industries, including healthcare, financial services, energy and chemicals.

Poppy Gustafsson, CEO said “Critical infrastructure is a top target for the world’s most sophisticated and well-resourced cyber-attackers. Now with our PREVENT/OT product, defenders can prioritize and test the routes adversaries might take to get to the ‘crown jewels’. Crucially, we can then harden defenses against that attack in advance of the worst happening. That is truly game changing in the ongoing battle for control of the world’s critical infrastructure and I am delighted that Darktrace has continued to evolve its product family to address this global challenge.”