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Honeywell and Acalvio Technologies launch shared solution to stop zero-day attacks

By Catherine Knowles, Thu 13 Jan 2022

Honeywell and Acalvio Technologies have launched a new solution designed to detect known and unknown (zero-day) attacks across the operational technology (OT) environments in commercial buildings.

Honeywell Threat Defense Platform (HTDP) powered by Acalvio employs active defense, featuring autonomous deception tactics to outsmart attackers, and provides high fidelity threat detection.

Honeywell's technology features an approach recommended by governments and cybersecurity standard bodies because of its ability to detect and control attacks, the company states.

Traditionally, building OT environments rely on prevention technology and passive detection such as perimeter security and network traffic analysis to secure systems.

However, more than 1 in 4 (27%) surveyed facility managers experienced a cyber breach of their OT systems in the last 12 months, according to a recent survey conducted by Honeywell Building Technologies.

Threat actors continue to target building systems with both targeted attacks and ransomware attacks. These attacks can go beyond accessing private customer data and may potentially impair the operations for critical organisations such as utilities, data centres, hospitals and airports.

HTDP uses deception tactics to confuse and mislead threats away from critical assets and devices, resulting in low false alerts and a high rate of detection.

The solution leads threat actors to decoy assets, which appear to be valuable OT and IT devices. However, none of the devices are real and there is no access to the enterprise assets.

The solution makes real, critical operational devices harder to find, slowing down adversaries and helping security teams capture them faster, the company states.

Honeywell Building Technologies global director cybersecurity Mirel Sehic says, "The quantity and complexity of cyberattacks unfortunately are increasing every day, reinforcing the need for building owners and operators to rigorously monitor, maintain and protect their OT environments.

"Incorporating Acalvio's autonomous deception technology into our OT cybersecurity tool belt provides a highly effective solution to help protect our customers' buildings from increasingly sophisticated attacks."

Powered by Acalvio's deception technology, HTDP incorporates design, intent and industry specific knowledge into a workflow to deploy effective deception across distributed enterprise OT networks.

Using specially crafted deception elements, HTDP also helps detect ransomware and even zero-day variants with precision and speed. HTDP uses advanced analytics to confirm and investigate threats.

Acalvio Technologies co-founder and CEO Ram Varadarajan says, "We're excited to work with Honeywell to secure and keep building OT systems properly operating while also protecting the people and data throughout an organisation.

"Importantly, this technology is something that can benefit every building and facility - especially those that do not have teams of cyber experts.

"It requires no prior knowledge of attacker tactics and can be deployed without special training or modifications to existing OT environments."

The HTDP solution includes deployment and ongoing monitoring, freeing up internal security team resources, the company states.

Advanced artificial intelligence makes the service simpler and scalable. According to the company, HTDP is well-suited for organisations that desire advanced intrusion detection in their building network without having to install or operate complex technology.

HTDP can be deployed across both IT and OT environments as either an on-premises offering or cloud service. This new offering also helps customers improve their resilience and business continuity efforts to help meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

Honeywell's relationship with Acalvio includes investment by Honeywell Ventures to further support the development of the latest cybersecurity solutions and disruptive technologies.

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