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Dragos Acquires NexDefense, Releases Free ICS Assessment Tools

Industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos on Monday announced the acquisition of NexDefense, a company that specializes in visibility technology for industrial control systems (ICS), and the launch of free ICS security assessment tools.

NexDefense, one of the earliest ICS security companies, was initially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and its technology was developed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Dragos believes that its acquisition of NexDefense will further support its mission by making tools and knowledge readily available to the ICS security community.

Specifically, the acquisition has helped Dragos launch Community Tools, a set of free ICS security assessment tools.

Dragos Community Tools currently provides two applications. One of them is Dragos Integrity, which is based on NexDefense technology and provides industrial organizations continuous and passive network monitoring capabilities, including deep packet inspection (DPI) and asset fingerprinting.

The second tool, developed by members of the Dragos team before the company was founded, is CyberLens, an assessment tool designed for quickly processing packet captures and visualizing ICS environments.

Dragos has pointed out that organizations often have to pay for access to these types of tools. However, while both tools are free, Dragos does not provide support for either of them.

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“Dragos is committed to safeguarding civilization, and central to this mission is finding ways to provide tools and resources for the entire community,” said Robert M. Lee, CEO and founder of Dragos. “With the acquisition of NexDefense, an early company in this space, we can provide a free asset identification tool specifically for those operators that are looking to start with situational awareness and enable continuous asset monitoring capabilities, thereby helping move our entire community closer to the next level of maturity in security against cyber threats.”

Dragos recently announced The Neighborhood Keeper, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, whose goal is to provide near-real-time access to collaborative ICS data and threat landscape insight to smaller providers that may not have the resources to buy and manage advanced security technologies.

Dragos, which raised nearly $50 million to date, has been involved in the analysis of the Triton/Trisis malware that was used to target a Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant in 2017.

Related: CrowdStrike, Dragos Partner on ICS Security Services

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.