Ordr Recognized in Gartner Market Guide for CPS Protection Platform Read more here!

Paradigmatic shifts are often not fully recognized until after they have occurred. Innovations are made, evolutions take place, and then someone realizes, “Hey, this is much different from when it started.” That’s when people start to re-think context and terminologies reflective of the new reality.

Cyber-Physical Systems: A Brief History

That scenario is playing out in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT) and its permutations like the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Internet of X Things (IoXT) that covers consumer, military, automotive, and other applications of connected technologies, and operational technology (OT). It’s a trend that began back in the 1980s when system-on-chip technology started getting designed into office printers, then adapted to use for industrial equipment, allowing users to manage and monitor machines and office appliances via the organization’s local area network (LAN). When the LAN gave way to public networks, the term “Internet of Things” was coined by MIT’s Kevin Ashton during a proposal to Procter & Gamble in which he suggested using RFID tags to track products moving through the supply chain.

Fast-forward to 2006 when, according to the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, the term cyber-physical systems was introduced to describe the interplay of digital and analog infrastructure in which “embedded computers monitor and control physical processes, usually with feedback loops, where physical processes affect computations and vice versa.”

Gartner has since adopted the term cyber-physical systems (CPS) to describe the full scope of connected technologies that once seemed arcane but are now not only common, but integral to the digital operations and infrastructure of nearly every enterprise. CPS are therefore the next-generation of integrated physical and cyber systems, and can include IoT, OT, and IoMT assets such as critical infrastructure sensors, surveillance cameras, building management systems, and healthcare devices with embedded systems that interact with the real world as well as with complex software elements. And because of the essential role CPS now plays, the devices comprising CPS assets have introduced new, critical risks to the organizations that have adopted them as a part of their digital transformations.

Managing Risks With Cyber-Physical Systems

That means new challenges for the IT security teams responsible for keeping networks, data, and people safe. In a recent report, Innovation Insight for Cyber-Physical Systems Protection Platforms, Gartner wrote:

“As organizations connect operational or mission-critical systems, or deploy automation and digital transformation technology, they create cyber-physical systems that security and risk management leaders must securely manage. Enter CPS protection platforms — new solutions for a new security reality.”

A cyber-physical systems protection platform is a security solution that automates cyber-physical systems asset discovery, and adds a range of security-related features to improve the risk posture of CPS. Gartner believes that by 2025, “70% of companies will deploy cyber-physical systems protection platforms as the first step in their asset-centric security journey.” As described in the Gartner graphic below, when organizations embrace digital transformation and IT/OT convergence, they will need to move towards an asset-centric view of security.

The Gartner report outlines findings, challenges, and recommendations for organizations confronting their CPS security realities for the first time, describes the risks that unprepared and ill-equipped enterprises face, and requirements for CyberPhysical Protection platforms.

Ordr Addresses Visibility and Security of Cyber-Physical Systems

Fortunately, Ordr offers a CPS protection platform that addresses these risks and makes it easy for organizations to see, know, and secure the devices that have been accruing to their enterprise inventories over the years (as well as those ones they didn’t know were connecting and operating on their infrastructure) — including IT, IoT, and OT. In fact, Ordr is named by Gartner as one of the leading CPS protection platform innovators, focused on addressing the unique, asset-centric approach required to protect connected devices and their infrastructures.

Ordr was engineered for the CPS environment, and delivers many security benefits specific to protecting cyber-physical systems, including:

  • Automated asset discovery and classification to gain an accurate view of your CPS attack surface.
  • Identification of vulnerable devices, malicious communications, and active threats to uncover previously unknown risks.
  • Prioritized remediation and mitigation efforts with risk scores calculated for every asset.
  • Accelerated incident response with dynamically created policy to stop malicious communications and protect devices.
  • Improved security with automated policy for NAC and Zero Trust segmentation.

Download a copy of Gartner’s Market Guide for Cyber-Physical Systems Protection Platform with our compliments, simply follow the link. Or to learn more about the Ordr platform and how we can help you protect your CPS assets, get in touch with us directly.

Today’s tech-dependent enterprises are no strangers to change. Our customers’ experiences demonstrate that familiarity daily. Whether they operate in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, education, or government, they must contend with a constantly evolving infrastructure within their organizations, and constantly evolving threats from the outside. On top of that are the regulations and evolving business standards and practices that influence day-to-day operations.

Embracing digital transformation for all its benefits means buckling in for a bumpy ride—bumpier for some industries than others. Digital transformation expands an organization’s capabilities and opportunities, but it takes effort. In healthcare, for example, I recently stumbled on an interesting report stating that only 16% of healthcare providers are in the “win zone,” meeting their transformation goals and driving sustainable change. The average across other industries is over 30%. That figure may be discouraging, but it is absolutely understandable, and organizations in healthcare as well as other industries can learn a lot from the experiences of their peers.

High Risks, Big Rewards

Using technology to improve patient care and operations sounds simple, but it is a complex endeavor that takes herculean effort. The pandemic briefly diverted attention away from long-term planning, but most health delivery organizations (HDOs) and other enterprises are back to addressing their plans and priorities. They are beginning to switch back from being reactive to a proactive mode. And with good reason.

Although high stakes, high costs, and risk aversion have discouraged many in the healthcare industry and beyond from fully embracing digital transformation, the rewards are too great to ignore. And the threats, expectations and competition all organizations face are not standing still. Done well, digital transformation delivers benefits that outweigh the risks and so, for those that have been reluctant to act, the time to embrace digital transformation is now.

What’s Fueling this New Wave of Transformation?

Over the years, every organization I have worked with—no matter how big or small—boils down their core priorities to three essential goals:

  • Protecting people and the network
  • Preserving service availability
  • Improving operational efficiency

Those goals never change, even when the tools and strategies for achieving them do. And what’s more, they are transferable to other contexts as well: keeping manufacturing equipment operational and staff safe on the shop floor, preserving service availability for financial transactions, maintaining the operational efficiency of constituent services, etc. Consistent with these goals, here are some key initiatives and capabilities that are driving this new wave of transformation and pushing the boundaries of operational potential.

  • Remote workforce support (i.e., work from home);
  • Remote facility, branch, and clinic operations;
  • Contractor and equipment maintenance support and outsourcing;
  • Data center transformation and migration to hybrid cloud;
  • Digital supply chain enablement; and,
  • Mergers and acquisitions.

These use cases show how, more and more, connected devices are integral to fulfilling an organization’s mission. And as the inventory of connected devices expands—including the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), operational technologies (OT), mobile, and other devices—those deployments reflect the evolution of the technology. Assets that were once under tight control, on-premises and behind the firewall, are now expanding and connecting beyond traditional boundaries, across multiple network dimensions, and outside of the view and control of IT.

Here are some examples:

  • Access from Any Device – IT, IoT, IoMT, OT, IoXT.
  • Access from Anywhere – remote sites, remote workers, telemedicine.
  • Deployed Anywhere – private and public cloud, virtualized data centers.
  • Modern Apps/Mobile Apps – XaaS, training, collaboration, any device-anywhere-any deployment support.
  • Ecosystem – third party apps, supply chain access, mergers and acquisitions.

What Keeps the CXOs Up at Night?

IT leaders tasked with driving new digital transformation initiatives understand that success goes well beyond merely integrating new technologies and getting them up and running. Enjoying the multitude of benefits that can follow the completion of a technology refresh comes with many elements contributing to the pucker factor that keeps a CXO awake at night. An expanded and expanding attack surface is at the heart of this unease. Acknowledging that fact, and the factors that play into those concerns, is the first step in planning for and addressing them during the transformation process, rather than promising yourself that you’ll “get to it eventually.” Some pucker factors are reflected in several troubling trends.

Surge in Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are now more frequent, sophisticated, and severe than ever—and getting worse. Attackers know that many organizations will pay huge ransoms because costs associated with downtime and operational disruption may be even higher than what attackers demand. In healthcare, disruptions caused by ransomware can have life and death consequences.

Prevention is the best way to deal with the ransomware threat, but old school methods simply don’t work. Prevention demands accurate and timely detection, and response automation that can block an attack from progressing to its target destination. You need a way to detect ransomware early, before it has encrypted your organization’s files, because then it’s too late to take effective action.

State-Sponsored Attacks

Adversarial nation states have become adept at using the ambiguity of cyberwarfare to launch attacks on critical infrastructure and economic targets, as well as organizations that hold valuable intellectual property. The tools and methods developed for these campaigns are rarely confined to a limited set of organizations either, as sowing chaos is part of the strategy.

For example, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with the FBI and Treasury Department issued a joint advisory about North Korean Maui ransomware targeting the healthcare industry. Similarly, Russian threat actors have been hard at work compromising connected devices and using them as a platform for attacks, including data exfiltration after establishing communications with command-and-control servers in Russia.

Digital Supply Chain Security

Digital supply chains that allow for remote and automated service between organizations have been a boon for operational efficiency—and for threat actors able to compromise those connections for their own ends. The SolarWinds Orion attack targeting U.S. federal agencies and commercial enterprises illustrated how damaging supply chain attacks can be.

Vulnerable SolarWinds servers sitting inside agency and corporate networks, operating with privileged access to IT systems, proved to be a gold mine for hackers to exploit and get whatever data they need, including high level state and military secrets.

Shadow IoT

One big security challenge faced by enterprises today is the presence of connected devices on their networks operating outside the view of IT security and operations. Known as “shadow IoT,” these devices epitomize the mantra you can’t protect what you can’t see. A recent Five Fifty report by McKinsey highlights the risk of the proliferation of devices connecting to the network as shadow IoT (such as the infamous hack of a casino using a connected aquarium thermometer as the vector of attack) and lack of readiness for most organizations.

Often these systems operate with outdated OSes, are unpatched, and unmanaged. Without proper onboarding—or a security platform able to detect, identify, profile, and monitor any device that connects to the network—any organization with shadow IoT operating within its IT estate is at risk of an attack.

How Ordr Helps Enable Secure Digital Transformation

Ordr’s mantra from the beginning has been to enable our customers to SEE, KNOW, and SECURE every device that is connected to their organization. To do this, we establish the most comprehensive and accurate single source of connected device truth in the Ordr Data Lake for each of our customers. This starts with automatically discovering and accurately classifying every connected device because you can’t secure what you can’t see.

From this foundation of visibility Ordr provides a complete view of the connected device attack surface including how devices are connected and communicating, which devices are vulnerable, and the unique risk each device represents in the environment.

Integrations across the security, networking, and IT ecosystem are integral to the Ordr solution. These integrations enhance the already rich view Ordr has of connected devices by centralizing additional data points and device details. A good example of this are the recent integrations with Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) platforms in the recent Ordr 8.2 release.

Integrations also enable Ordr to enrich the tools and workflows used every day and improve how teams manage and secure devices. An example here is the recent integration with the ServiceNow Service Graph Connector to help customers ensure the data in their CMDB is complete, up to date, and accurate. Another example is how Ordr device insights are used to optimize vulnerability scanning with Qualys.

Integrations also help teams take action to address vulnerabilities, respond to active threats, proactively improve protections, and ultimately reduce risk. Ordr automates the creation of security policies and enforces those policies by integrating with a customer’s existing security and network infrastructure. With this approach Ordr customers are able to quickly block attacks, quarantine compromises devices, segment vulnerable devices, and accelerate Zero Trust projects to proactively improve security.

We continue to drive innovations across the Ordr platform and expand with integrations across the security, networking, and IT ecosystem to provide our customers with a single source of truth for all their connected devices. Reach out for a demo and to learn how Ordr can help you SEE, KNOW, and SECURE, all your connected devices.

There has been a lot of confusion about the future of cyber insurance following recent statements by market makers Lloyd’s of London and Zurich Insurance Group. In late 2022, Lloyd’s informed underwriters in its syndicate that they would be required to explicitly exclude coverage for damages related to state sponsored cyberattacks. More recently Zurich CEO Mario Greco told the Financial Times, “What will become uninsurable is going to be cyber,” adding that if a threat actor “takes control of vital parts of our infrastructure” the results may be uninsurable.

Those statements, coupled with well publicized policy price increases for 2023 that are as much as three times higher than what many customers paid the year before, have fueled concerns that cyber insurance coverage may be unavailable in the near future and that many underwriters may simply get out of the business. In many ways what we are seeing is the maturation of what remains a relatively new market trying to find its footing in a dynamic threat and risk landscape. Because of that, questions and confusion are rampant, and rational answers from seasoned experts are needed. That is why Ordr recently convened the Cybertrends and the Impact on Cyberinsurance webinar with Marc Schein, national co-chair, cybersecurity center of excellence, Marsh McLennan Agency, and Jim Brady, vice president cybersecurity and risk management, and CISO at Fairview Health. If you missed the webinar, you can check out the recording here.

A Little History

For context, the first cyber insurance policy was written in 1997 by AIG and, according to The Insurance Journal, “Covered only third party suits arising from breaches originating from outside the company.” Optimism for the insurance industry’s first new product category in decades was high, but as underwriters began entering the market in the early 2000s, the challenges associated with an increasingly difficult threat landscape became evident. The number of threat actors, including lone wolf hackers, criminal syndicates, and state-sponsored adversaries, was growing quickly, and the tools available to them were becoming more effective. As new threats emerged, the insurance industry struggled to keep current.

Fast-forward to 2020 and, with the outbreak of Covid-19, things got bad. In the chaos of a global pandemic threat actors took advantage and began focusing on the use of ransomware. Few organizations were prepared for the attacks, and the insurance industry’s risk calculations were turned upside down. Schein said many “underwriters were paying out more in claims than they were collecting in premiums because they were unprepared for the rise in ransomware.”

Ransomware Disruption

According to Marsh, there were 4,000 ransomware attacks per day in the U.S., and the cost to the insurance industry was $20 billion in 2021. Then, in 2022 with the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine there was another sudden shift in the industry’s risk calculus. The potential for acts of cyberwar targeting critical infrastructure and industry, coupled with continued escalating risks for industries like healthcare, forced the insurance industry to make numerous adjustments to its risk assessments, culminating in steep premium increases along with policies and exclusions written with greater specificity.

In hindsight these changes shouldn’t come as a surprise. If anything, organizations that used cyber insurance as a major part of their risk management strategy had been getting a great deal. But as the industry has become more educated on the risks, that experience is now forcing organizations to (finally) take their own cybersecurity programs more seriously. No more cutting corners. Instead, to qualify for coverage, savvy insurers are demanding that organizations be able to demonstrate that they have complete visibility and understanding of their IT estates, and have implemented controls sufficient to protect their assets.

Gain Control

As an early player in cyber insurance, brokerage, risk management, and reinsurance services firm, Marsh McLennan has been a leader in its industry with a deep understanding of what it takes for customers to protect themselves from cyberthreats. The firm offers a list of twelve security controls it requires of its customers that Schein shared during the webinar–along with the caveat that a failure to demonstrate use of the first five is likely to disqualify the organization for coverage. Those twelve controls are:

  1. Multifactor authentication (MFA) for remote access and admin/privileged controls
  2. Endpoint detection and response (EDR)
  3. Secured, encrypted, and tested backups
  4. Privileged access management (PAM)
  5. Email filtering and web security
  6. Patch management and vulnerability management
  7. Cyber incident response planning and testing
  8. Cybersecurity awareness training and phishing testing
  9. Hardening techniques, including remote desktop protocol (RDP) mitigation
  10. Logging and monitoring/network protections
  11. End-of-life systems replaced or protected
  12. Vendor/digital supply chain risk management

The Marsh checklist signals a growing savvy within the industry that knows more information means more accurate risk assessments. As Robert Parisi, North American head of cyber solutions for Munich Re recently told the Wall Street Journal, “The underwriting is aggressively moving toward, ‘How can we get a deeper, more insightful look.’”

What’s missing on this checklist? In the webinar, we raised the question of why asset visibility, security, and segmentation were not included in the list of controls. In fact, the broad “endpoint detection and response”, “patch management and vulnerability management,” and “end-of-life systems replaced or protected” all require visibility into assets and the risks they bring.

Deeper Insight

That requirement for deeper insights into the customer’s risk posture can translate to an advantage for some organizations when shopping for a cyber insurance policy. The ability to provide proof of asset visibility across their entire enterprise can mean a stronger position when shopping for a policy and negotiating with potential underwriters. Brady discussed the advantages Fairview has enjoyed by “coming to the table ready to roll” with necessary controls fully documented. This includes proof the organization has gone beyond an insurer’s requirements by implementing complete asset inventory management and network segmentation to ensure the organization’s ability to quickly detect and effectively mitigate risks.

“How can you even detect something bad going on [with a device] if you don’t even know you have it?” — Jim Brady, Fairview Health


“How can you even detect something bad going on [with a device] if you don’t even know you have it?” Brady asked, highlighting the strategic advantage of having complete device visibility across the entire network.

Good News

Schein agreed, and delivered surprisingly good news when he said, “If you are engaging better controls and you do improve your security posture, the marketplace is getting significantly better.” He then shared that, even as sharp premium increases grab headlines, 14% of Marsh’s customers enjoyed a price decrease by aggressively improving their overall security posture.

“If you are engaging better controls and you do improve your security posture, the marketplace is getting significantly better.” — Marc Schein, Marsh McLennan Agency


Clearly, security leaders that have invested in maturing their cybersecurity program with asset management, and excellent controls at the core are reaping the benefits by not only hardening their enterprises against attacks, but by reducing their overall risk profile. Many security leaders recognize that Ordr can play a key role in that equation by giving its customers the ability to see across the entire enterprise to continuously discover and classify an organization’s complete connected device inventory. What’s more, the Ordr Data Lake ensures deep insight into every device’s risk profile with a real-time understanding of communications and operational behavior that could signal an indicator of compromise. Those insights can trigger dynamically created security policies that can be quickly enforced to prevent or contain an attack, and also give insurers confidence that they are working with a customer that takes the concept of Zero Trust seriously and employs strong risk reduction practices.

Click through to view the Cybertrends and the Impact on Cyberinsurance webinar. And for a deeper dive into how to use Ordr as a tool to better secure your organization and prepare for negotiating your best deal for cyber insurance, watch Master Class: How Ordr Bolsters your Cyberinsurance Eligibility.