ICS security vendor Dragos announces expansion into the UK (Image Credit: MICHAEL WILSON on Unsplash)Industrial Control Systems (ICS) security vendor Dragos is expanding its global presence with a UK base. It will provide UK customers with local access to its services. It will also train ICS/OT cybersecurity talent across the UK to meet customer demand. This is the second big expansion announced by Dragos in 2021 after Australia and New Zealand.

Robert M. Lee, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dragos, Inc (Image Credit: Dragos)
Robert M. Lee, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dragos, Inc

Robert M. Lee, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dragos, Inc, said: “The cybersecurity challenges that industrial organizations face are global in nature but local in practice; there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to industrial cybersecurity. To achieve our broader company mission, we have to be where our customers are to ensure we are taking every effort to make ICS/OT-specific cybersecurity expertise and technology more accessible to organizations across the globe.

“This expansion reflects the incredible demand for ICS/OT cybersecurity solutions we are seeing throughout the major markets and will better position us to partner more closely with companies in the UK to ensure that they are successful in each of their distinct industrial cybersecurity journeys.”

Boosting ICS/OT security teams will protect CNI

Attacks against Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) are on the rise. This move by Dragos will help companies in that space protect their ICS/OT systems. Dragos counts National Grid plc as one of its biggest UK customers. It invested in Dragos back in 2018 as it looked to protect itself from increasing numbers of ICS threats.

Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at National Grid and Founder and President of National Grid Partners, said: “We invested in Dragos because we saw the value their visibility into ICS threats brought for both our UK and US businesses.”

In December 2020, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) highlighted attacks on CNI as a major challenge. It has developed a tool called The Knowledge Base. Analysts get both a map and a network view on which CNI attacks are plotted. It gives them a view of the interdependencies between systems. Such data allows analysts to predict the spread of an attack and start remediation processes quickly. Will Dragos look to plug into that?

Establishing a base in the UK will also strengthen Dragos’ EMEA presence. Oil, gas and electricity are not industries that are contained by national borders. The UK has interconnects with several European countries to help deliver its energy needs. Similarly, across EMEA, many countries are dependent on others to fulfil their energy demands. By widening its EMEA presence, Dragos will provide a wider view of attacks as they emerge and help customers take faster action to stop and prevent attacks.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

This is a smart move by Dragos. Attacks against ICS/OT networks have been on the rise worldwide. There is a substantial lack of qualified security professionals in the space. Dragos can connect more easily with its key customers and provide services to them by having a UK office.

Just as important is its commitment to help train ICS/OT engineers to help deal with the lack of skills in the market. However, training alone is not enough. Will Dragos supplement that training by connecting qualified security analysts and engineers with its customer base? It is a move that many customers would likely want. It would also ensure that those undergoing training have access to jobs.

As Lee said: “Our presence will also make it easier for us to connect directly with local ICS/OT cybersecurity practitioner communities to help foster and support their growth. The rapid growth in the OT cybersecurity market and demand for skilled OT cybersecurity professionals has far outstripped the available talent so every person we can expose to and welcome into the ICS/OT cybersecurity community is a win for the industry.”


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