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

There has been a lot of attention paid to ransomware over the last few years, and with good reason. In 2021 Fierce Healthcare reported a 470% increase in ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry in 2020 compared to the previous year. Threat actors saw an opportunity to take advantage of pandemic chaos to target a vulnerable sector of the economy and got to work. Healthcare took the brunt, but no industry was safe. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported a more than 20% increase in ransomware investigations overall during that same period and said ransomware payouts increased at an even higher pace as a result. And according to Security Magazine more recent analysis shows the ransomware threat continued to rise through 2023, with more attacks, new gangs, and manufacturers emerging as a favorite target.

But ransomware isn’t the only danger to IT networks and data integrity. More common attacks, where the goal isn’t to lock down valuable information but siphon it off, remain a major threat to businesses. In fact, the most recent IC3 annual report said the FBI received 2,385 ransomware complaints accounting for losses of more than $34.3 million, while overall the Bureau fielded over 800,000 cybercrime complaints with losses of more than $10.3 billion during 2022.

A Complete, Real-Time View

Countering cyberthreats of every type is vital to protecting an organization’s business and operational interests, the safety of individuals, and to safeguarding assets like finances and intellectual property. Many types of cyberattacks share common attributes and indicators of compromise (IoC) like point of entry and vector, lateral movement, and disruptions to normal communications patterns. Identifying these can be difficult without a complete and real-time view of the assets comprising the network, and detailed profiles of each device connected to it. That is why a “whole enterprise” approach to cybersecurity must be adopted to maximize threat prevention.

Because many devices use obsolete, unsupported operating systems, they are easy to exploit and to quickly traverse the network toward their goal. 

This is especially important when considering the growing reliance many organizations have on the Internet of Things (IoT) and associated technologies like the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), operational technologies (OT), cyber physical systems, and other types of connected devices. Attackers don’t care what kind of devices the organization has deployed, only the operating system it runs. And because many devices use obsolete, unsupported operating systems, they are easy to exploit and to quickly traverse the network toward their goal.

Zero Trust Support

It makes sense, then, that a whole enterprise approach is the logical way to address cybersecurity because it includes full asset visibility combined with rich operational insights to give security teams the ability to recognize unexpected communications patterns and make informed security decisions in response. That is the Ordr See, Know, Secure philosophy to connected device security and it is why we have invested so much into building a platform that not only reveals an organization’s full connected device inventory in real-time, but layers in both intelligence and automation that enable dynamic policy creation and enforcement and support Zero Trust security initiatives.

A whole enterprise approach is the logical way to address cybersecurity because it includes full asset visibility combined with rich operational insights to give security teams the ability to recognize unexpected communications patterns and make informed security decisions in response.

That is important because connected devices are increasingly targeted by threat actors who use notoriously unsecure IoT, IoMT, OT and other devices as either an attack vector or path of lateral movement once inside the enterprise. They know that if 20% of an organization’s connected devices are outside the view of security, they are less likely to be detected and thwarted, and that their efforts stand a much higher chance of success.

Seven Keys to Fighting Back

To counter this threat, Ordr enables seven key capabilities in the fight against cyberattacks:

  • Discovery of all connected devices.
  • Identification of device communications with prohibited countries, prohibited IPs, and malicious URLs.
  • Communications baselining and identification of communication anomalies.
  • Identification of devices running vulnerable protocols with the ability to disable or monitor as needed.
  • Identification of devices running unpatched and/or vulnerable software and OSes through the Ordr Software Inventory Collector.
  • Segmentation or quarantining as a compensating control for devices that cannot be updated.
  • Retrospective analysis to evaluate past compromised communications patterns when new IoC and threat intelligence are released.

Recent Attacks Illustrate the Threat

Several recent, high-profile threat campaigns illustrate how these capabilities and a whole enterprise approach to cybersecurity can help prevent or minimize the effects of an attack. Exploiting vulnerabilities in Fortra’s GoAnywhere managed file transfer product, Progress Software’s MOVEit managed file transfer product, and the RDStealer weapon targeting remote desktop applications allowed threat groups to plant malware, including ransomware, in hundreds of organizations and execute the exfiltration of millions of data files containing sensitive personal and corporate information. Even when attacks use zero-day vulnerabilities to compromise network security undetected, the exfiltration of data may itself trigger automated policy enforcement, minimizing the event’s impact.

Ordr is a key component in the whole enterprise cybersecurity strategies of many top healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, and other organizations that recognize their growing reliance on connected devices could leave them vulnerable. Using Ordr, they now SEE, KNOW, and SECURE their systems and data.

The 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report is out. Like most folks in the cybersecurity industry, we downloaded it and pored over the contents to see what was new and relevant and surprising. As always, there’s a lot of data that quantifies the issues we see everyday: ransomware attacks, social engineering, underlying factors, threat types, etc. For example, the summary of findings identified external actors as the top threat involved in 83% of breaches; said that human error plays a role in 74% of all breaches; and reported that 24% of attacks involve ransomware; and broke down credential theft, phishing, and exploitation of vulnerabilities as the three primary means of attack.

Digging Deeper

Then we gravitated toward findings specific to the industries that Ordr is focused on and that have embraced our technology as a part of their cybersecurity strategies.

  • In financial services and insurance, we learned that “basic web application attacks, miscellaneous errors, and system intrusion represent 77% of breaches,” and that financial gain was the motive in 97% of attacks on the industry.
  • In healthcare we learned that “system intrusion, basic web application attacks, and miscellaneous errors represent 68% of breaches,” and that financial gain was the motive in 98% of attacks on the industry.
  • In manufacturing we learned that “system intrusion, social engineering, [and] basic web application attacks represent 83% of breaches,” and that financial gain was the motive in 96% of attacks on the industry.

Similar results were reported down the line in accommodation and food services, education services, government, IT and so on. Threat actors want money, they are good at finding ways into networks where they aren’t welcome, and whether by their intent, neglect, or error, people inside of breached organizations are a reliable source of help. Each data point illuminates and confirms issues we all intuitively recognize as true.

“Threat actors want money, they are good at finding ways into networks where they aren’t welcome, and whether by their intent, neglect, or error, people inside of breached organizations are a reliable source of help.”

Then we started looking deeper. Our focus at Ordr is on protecting enterprises by securing the growing number of connected devices at work in enterprises across the globe, in every industry. These include categories like the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Operational Technology (OT), and the many devices connecting to networks to perform new and exciting tasks in a variety of niche roles (XIoT).

A Threat to Health and Safety

The risks that unsecured devices present to the organizations that own them are well known, and the implications of attacks affecting them are troubling. In healthcare, for example, attacks may have financial motives, as the VDBIR says. But recent research by the Ponemon Institute found that cyberattacks on hospitals correlated to an increase in negative outcomes for patients in 57% of hospitals affected due to delays in performing needed tests and procedures. The problem is so severe that hospitals with no means of protecting the medical devices integral to the delivery of patient care are training staff in “code dark” response, which is the physical unplugging and disconnecting of at-risk systems.

The problem is so severe that hospitals with no means of protecting the medical devices are training staff in ‘code dark‘ response, which is the physical unplugging and disconnecting of at-risk systems.

The dangers associated with vulnerable IoT, IoMT, and OT devices, and the risks they pose to not only critical infrastructure but financial services, manufacturing, and smart cities, are so concerning to our economic and physical security that connected devices are a part of the White House’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, called out in “Strategic Objective 3.2: Drive the Development of Secure IoT Devices.” The FDA has also issued a mandate to ensure new devices entering the market are built to be secure. And over in the UK connected device security is called out as part of that country’s new National Health Services cybersecurity strategy.

Despite the real and troubling issues associated with IoT security, there is no mention of them in the 2023 VDBIR. And OT security is dismissed with the explanation that “we continue to see [a] very small numbers of incidents involving Operational Technology (OT), where the computers interface with heavy machinery and critical infrastructure,” in contrast to the volume of attacks on traditional IT systems.

Vector, Path, or Target

It is worth pointing out that even if IoT, IoMT, and OT are not the initial vector of attack, such systems may be the target of an attack, or used as a path of attack as threat actors, once inside a network, move laterally to their intended destination. It could also be that, because the VDBIR takes a broad and high-level view of the data they collect, the presence of IoT in the report is simply buried in the data. Or maybe it is not known that connected devices are involved. Our analysis following the discovery of devices connected and operating on customer networks shows that as many as 15% of those devices were unknown to IT security and management prior to deployment of Ordr. You can’t secure what you can’t see, and so an attack in which an unknown, vulnerable, and unsecured connected device was the primary vector would also be invisible to security analysts.

More likely is that attacks involving IoT, IoMT, or OT devices are probably too granular a detail to be called out specifically in any report based on broad security analysis. But that doesn’t mean the risk isn’t real, and that the potential effects of an attack involving connected devices are not dire. They are, and that is why we built the Ordr platform to see, know, and secure every device in any network.

Northern Maine Medical Center. Fort Kent, Maine.

Fort Kent is a town of just over 4,000 residents abutting the Canadian border in rural Aroostook County, Maine. Fort Kent is famous for being the northernmost terminus of U.S. Route One, and infamous for its long, harsh winters. It is also home to Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC), a 10-bed hospital that has seen services cut in an effort to lower operating costs.

Maine Public Radio recently reported from a public forum held in Fort Kent’s town hall after the hospital announced plans to close its maternity ward. Residents fear NMMC will soon close; and if it does it will be part of a growing trend. The American Hospital Association (AHA) says that 136 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and according to a recent report by the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (CHQPR), there are more than 600 hospitals across the country in danger of closing due to financial pressures. Of those, more than 200 are in immediate danger of shutting down. That means that hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are likely to continue as a trend identified by Chief Healthcare Executive magazine, which reported there were more than 50 hospital M&As in 2022, with more expected this year.

The Good and Bad of Healthcare M&A

When larger hospitals acquire smaller–and especially rural–hospitals, it can have a positive effect on access to quality of care for the communities they serve. The AHA said that nearly 40% of hospitals added services after being acquired, and that operating efficiencies helped to lower costs by an average of 3.3% after an acquisition. But along with the benefits associated with healthcare M&As come security risks. Security Magazine reported that ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations have doubled since 2016, and because rural hospitals struggle with financial and staffing constraints, they are often more easily breached by threat actors.

In her testimony to the Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee during a hearing on cybersecurity threats to rural healthcare organizations, former North Country Hospital (Vermont) CIO/CISO Kate Pierce said, “[An] alarming trend that escalated in 2022 was cyber attackers shifting focus to small and rural hospitals. While most larger health systems have implemented advanced cybersecurity hygiene to thwart attacks and are employing large cybersecurity teams with sophisticated defenses, small facilities continue to struggle.”

[An] alarming trend that escalated in 2022 was cyber attackers shifting focus to small and rural hospitals. While most larger health systems have implemented advanced cybersecurity hygiene to thwart attacks and are employing large cybersecurity teams with sophisticated defenses, small facilities continue to struggle.” — Kate Pierce, former CIO/CISO, North Country Hospital

The Lurking Threat of Acquired Risks

The dynamic nature of connected devices operating in a network complicates security and IT management issues. In healthcare, these challenges are magnified because patient safety is affected when operations are compromised. Some findings from our most recent Rise of the Machines, Enterprise of Things Adoption and Risk Report (keep your eyes peeled for our 2023 edition soon), show the dangers present when Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and operational technologies (OT) proliferate in a healthcare environment.:

  • 86% of IoT and IoMT deployments have 10 or more FDA recalls.
  • 15%-19% of connected devices run on obsolete/unsupported operating systems.
  • 10%-15% of devices connected to the network  are unknown or unauthorized.
Compromised Medical Devices put Patient Safety at Risk

When a larger hospital makes an acquisition, it takes on the legacy cyber risks that previously beset the smaller one, including the technology assets used to run the facility and support staff in delivering care. In the best cases, hospitals and other healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) rely on connected medical devices that are likely vulnerable to cyberattack. And once a piece of medical equipment is put in service, it may end up running with obsolete or unsupported software for years, or new vulnerabilities may be revealed that cannot be patched quickly due to patient safety concerns.

Even when a large hospital with “advanced cybersecurity hygiene” takes over the IT and security operations of a smaller hospital, it can take time to assess and mitigate the risks associated with integrating the new organization’s IT estate. And if any of the acquired systems were compromised prior to acquisition, a lurking, undetected threat actor may be able to use the smaller hospital’s IT infrastructure as a kind of Trojan horse from which to move laterally into the new owner’s systems, much like when hotelier Marriott was breached after acquiring Starwood Hotels in 2014.

Mitigate M&A Cybersecurity Risks

With these challenges in mind, a best practice approach to cybersecurity during an M&A event involves three critical steps:

1. Discover every asset in the network

You can’t protect what you can’t see, and so the key to addressing legacy threats and vulnerabilities inherited through the acquisition of other organizations’ technology estates is to be able to discover and classify every asset. That includes all the connected devices in operation: IoMT, IoT, OT, and more. This comprehensive asset inventory may also be useful to determine duplicate systems and reduce redundancies as both organizations in the M&A consolidate their assets.

The Ordr platform performs device discovery and classification quickly, and then monitors communications and tracks changes in real-time. Ordr goes beyond mere visibility to deliver deep, granular, classification of every device, from make, model, serial number, and operating system details. It also provides vital context about where a device is connected and what other systems it is communicating with. Ordr addresses one of the most common M&A challenges of overlapping IP schemas when two organizations are combined. This challenge prevents teams from easily establishing a single view of both environments and can slow risk assessment and integration efforts.

2. Identify your attack surface

The next step is identifying and measuring the attack surface from these assets. This can include devices with vulnerabilities, devices running outdated operating systems, or those with weak passwords. By baselining devices and their communications patterns, you can determine behavior that is outside of norm, that may be an indication of a compromised device.

From a deep, granular foundation of visibility, Ordr gives a complete view of the connected device attack surface and communications in real-time. Ordr identifies which devices are vulnerable or acting in a risky manner, and assigns a risk score based on the device’s known, determinative operational parameters.

3. Implement M&A cybersecurity best practices

Once you know what devices and risks you are inheriting as part of the acquisition, you can begin to implement M&A cybersecurity best practices. The most basic M&A cybersecurity best practices may be segmentation between the two networks, until access and convergence is complete. You will also want to identify or document key risks that need to be mitigated and addressed during or post acquisition.

Ordr dynamically automates the creation and enforcement of security policies. This means that organizations using the Ordr platform can quickly block attacks, quarantine compromised devices, segment vulnerable devices, and accelerate Zero Trust projects to proactively improve security.

Cybersecurity Due Diligence

Identify Risks Before Hospital Acquisition

Because hospitals and HDOs are under constant risk of attack from threat actors who care nothing of the danger their actions present to patients—and, in fact, use that danger to their advantage when carrying out ransomware attacks—there is no grace period when acquiring a smaller organization. It is imperative that the acquiring hospital include cybersecurity when conducting their due diligence. The network must be inventoried, assessed, and protected as quickly as possible, and Ordr helps get that done even before a contract is signed.

Furthermore, we operate on a philosophy of continuous improvement, expanding our integrations, leveraging the most up-to-date threat intelligence, and building our library of millions of device profiles to ensure Ordr is the most comprehensive, single source of connected device truth available. Check out our M&A solution brief for more details on how we help with cybersecurity due diligence.

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.

The “shared responsibility” philosophy for improving cybersecurity is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It was woven throughout the U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy issued by the White House in early March, and later that month the UK also announced its plan to improve cybersecurity for the country’s National Health Service (NHS).

On March 22, the UK government announced it will draft a six-year plan to “promote cyber resilience across the health and care sectors by 2030, protecting both services and patients.” That plan will build on five pillars for reducing the risk and impact of cyberattacks on healthcare organizations, while also improving recovery and resiliency should an attack succeed. Those pillars include:

  • Identifying the areas of the sector where disruption would cause the greatest harm to patients, such as through sensitive information being leaked or critical services being unable to function.
  • Uniting the sector so it can take advantage of its scale and benefit from national resources and expertise, enabling faster responses and minimizing disruption.
  • Building on the current culture to ensure leaders are engaged and the cyber workforce is grown and recognized, and relevant cyber basics training is offered to the general workforce.
  • Embedding security into the framework of emerging technology to better protect it against cyber threats.
  • Supporting every health and care organization to minimize the impact and recovery time of a cyber incident.

Faster Response, Minimized Disruption

The second of the five pillars is notable to us because it calls for “uniting” the healthcare sector in an effort to combine resources and expertise to “enable faster responses and minimize disruption.” At a macro level that is a critical capability for hardening the networks of organizations connected through extensive digital supply chains. At the individual level it is vital for an NHS Trust to approach cybersecurity from a “whole hospital” perspective. Recognizing that, with IT systems operating on the same infrastructure as the operational technologies (OT) that run the hospital operations—and also alongside the sophisticated connected medical devices (Internet of Medical Things) integral to delivering a high quality of healthcare to patients—a vulnerability anywhere in the network puts the entire Trust at risk.

“This new strategy will be instrumental to ensure every organization in health and adult social care is set up to meet the challenges of the future.” — Health Minister Lord Markham

Protecting 1.7 Million Devices

The announcement points out that there are more than 1.7 million devices operating within NHS Trust networks, and that the strategy seeks to monitor each for suspicious activity that could indicate an attack or active threat. That’s wise, and an imminently achievable goal. In fact, many Trusts in the NHS system currently use the Ordr platform to discover, monitor, and protect the hundreds or thousands of Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) devices that populate their networks for the delivery of patient care.

When the full NHS cybersecurity strategy is published later this year, Ordr is confident that our customers will be prepared to meet whatever standards are set as they pertain to protecting connected devices. And as the CISOs and other leaders in those Trusts have already demonstrated a desire to work toward a Zero Trust security posture, there is no doubt they will establish themselves as cybersecurity exemplars for their peer Trusts.

Ordr is also actively working with NHS Trusts to comply with the NHS Data Security Protection Toolkit (DSPT) and  ensure the security and privacy of data shared within the NHS system. Contact us for more information about how we can protect the connected devices in your network.

Binding Operational Directive 23-01 can help close a government security gap


The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently issued an advisory on a dozen new exploits and vulnerabilities affecting industrial control systems (ICS) from nine different manufacturers. The warning is the latest in a growing body of evidence that critical public infrastructure–things like the power grid, transportation systems and facilities, government buildings, and public safety organizations–will soon become the primary target of threat actors in an escalation of attacks against national economic interests. In fact, some observers believe a shift in strategies in the war between Russia and Ukraine is proof that such an escalation is well underway.

It’s hard to argue that threat actors are not becoming increasingly aggressive and willing to attack targets, even when there might be a human cost. Hospitals and healthcare services providers have seen a sharp increase in attacks over the last three years, and research suggests those attacks are associated with an increase in patient mortality. Even the U.S. Federal Reserve warns that attacks on industrial enterprises and infrastructure could impede economic activity and seriously undermine confidence and stability in national financial systems.

Setting a Good Example

And so, as attention turns toward the hardening of private and public infrastructure against cyberattacks, leaders in Washington, D.C. are trying to set a positive example by updating their own security policies. When the White House issued the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity on May 12, 2021, it established the foundation for the government’s strategy to address the protection of a sprawling and complex federal IT infrastructure comprising hundreds of different agencies. Then in early March this year the White House published its National Cybersecurity Strategy to bring the issue into sharper focus.

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) took a big step forward when it issued Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 23-01, Improving Asset Visibility and Vulnerability Detection on Federal Networks.

But the work toward improving the federal government’s readiness and resilience against cyberthreats was underway before the release of the National Cybersecurity Strategy. In October of 2022 the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) took a big step forward when it issued Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 23-01, Improving Asset Visibility and Vulnerability Detection on Federal Networks.

Connected Device Visibility is Critical

BOD 23-01, which had a deadline of April 3, 2023, requires all federal civilian executive branch (FECB) agencies to establish the means for effecting “continuous and comprehensive asset visibility” as a first step in assessing and monitoring cyber risk. CISA did not identify penalties for missing the April 3 deadline, but there are ongoing reporting and improvement timelines to ensure asset inventories are up-to-date. The philosophy behind the directive is sound. Today’s IT estates are complex and include thousands of components operating on-premises and in the cloud. Servers, routers, switches, software, application, services, and all kinds of devices, many of which are practically invisible to traditional IT management systems.

This is especially true for connected devices, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), operational technology (OT), and more. And what BOD 23-01 does is acknowledge that, without a complete accounting of every single device that connects to the enterprise—expected or unexpected, and for however long it remains connected—each is a potential vector for attack. Also, when connected assets are unaccounted for, an organization’s configuration management database (CMDB) will be inaccurate, leading to other IT operations and security issues that can put the enterprise at risk. Ordr’s experience with connected device discovery illustrates the wide variety of unexpected devices that can be found operating in some enterprises alongside mission-critical equipment. Vending machines and building controls, Tesla cars and Kegerators, Alexas and Pelotons, all connected to the network and communicating out to the Internet, unmanaged and unknown to IT operations and security.

See IT, Protect IT

You can’t protect what you can’t see, and so device discovery, visibility, and monitoring is vital to maintaining security at a high level. Ordr is not only able to discover and monitor these devices in real-time, but the extensive Ordr Data Lake contains detailed profiles of millions of IoT, IoMT, and OT devices, identifying their purpose and operational profile. That enables security teams to identify devices with vulnerabilities, establish a risk score for every device operating in the network, detect when devices exhibit indicators of compromise, and automate policy creation to accelerate response and prevent attacks targeting connected devices or prevent lateral movement. These capabilities support BOD 23-01’s objective to “make measurable progress toward enhancing visibility into agency assets and associated vulnerabilities… an important step to address current visibility challenges at the component, agency, and [federal civilian executive branch] enterprise level.”

These capabilities support BOD 23-01’s objective to “make measurable progress toward enhancing visibility into agency assets and associated vulnerabilities… an important step to address current visibility challenges at the component, agency, and [federal civilian executive branch] enterprise level.”

It’s good that the U.S. federal government recognizes that maximizing the effectiveness of a cybersecurity program demands a full accounting of every device operating in the network. That is the foundational tenet to Ordr’s mission, and it has been embraced by our customers, including many of the world’s largest healthcare, financial, and manufacturing organizations. And for our customers in the federal government, they had a head start on meeting (and likely exceeding) requirements ahead of CISA’s April 3 deadline.

If your agency or organization recognizes that it has blind spots it needs to address to take a full inventory of every device it has connected to its network, give us a call. We can run a demonstration that can show you every connected device on the network. And with a complete accounting of your connected assets, you can build a plan to see, know, and secure your enterprise.

Before medical device manufacturers are able to release a product to market, they are subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of these devices. Since 2014, those evaluations have included medical device security guidance, with a subsequent update in 2018. Now, with the explosive growth of connected devices used by hospitals and healthcare providers and a growing number of cyberattacks that have crippled healthcare services, the FDA recently released draft guidelines requiring that devices comprising the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) meet more stringent cybersecurity standards.  

Cybersecurity in Medical Devices: Quality System Considerations and Content of Premarket Submissions,” is a 45-page document that deals with security design, vulnerability disclosures, Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs), and other documentation requirements that will have to be addressed by medical device manufacturers before their new devices can gain FDA premarket approval. 

In general, this is a step in the right direction for the FDA. Security needs to be built into the design of medical devices. At the same time, because medical devices have longer lifecycles than typical IT devices, it also means that it may be a while years before new devices falling under this new guidance are deployed. Because of the risks inherent with existing medical devices, healthcare organizations need to take action to secure legacy devices now. 

What Is Included in the FDA Guidance for Medical Devices? 

New medical device applicants are advised to submit “a plan to monitor, identify, and address, as appropriate, in a reasonable time, postmarket cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and exploits.” 

 They are also asked to “design, develop, and maintain processes and procedures to provide a reasonable assurance that the device and related systems are cybersecure.” This includes making patches available “on a reasonably justified regular cycle,” and for newfound critical vulnerabilities, “as soon as possible out of cycle.” 

 Finally, manufacturers must provide the FDA with “a Software Bill of Materials,” including any open-source or other software their devices use. This is one of the new changes in the FDA guidance— a complete SBOM requirement instead a Cybersecurity Bill of Materials (CBOM), as outlined in the 2018 guidance.  

 Note that even with a manufacturer-provided SBOM, when a zero vulnerability like Log4J or OpenSSL is discovered, it is almost impossible to find out the real composition of the packages and the dependent libraries that was pulled into each package when the software was built and shipped. Sometimes, the manufacturer may have customized and configured functionality and those additional details aren’t released. 

Therefore, as the FDA determines the format for manufacturer SBOMs, it is important to ensure that these SBOM declarations are detailed enough to include each and every piece of library that is included in the build. With this FDA mandate, if manufacturers release an SBOM that is accurate and complete, along with configuration settings, Ordr (and our vulnerability matching engine) can immediately assess the risk of these vulnerabilities and understand the exposure and exploitability. 

When Does This Mandate Take Effect?  

The new security requirements came into effect when the $1.7 trillion federal omnibus spending bill (the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act) was signed by President Joe Biden on December 29, 2022.  

Section 3305 of the spending bill — “Ensuring cybersecurity of medical devices”— is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It took effect 90 days after the Act became law, and with its new authority, the FDA has given manufacturers six months — until Oct. 1, 2023 — to comply with the new regulations. The new law also requires the FDA to update its medical device cybersecurity guidance at least every two years. 

How Can Ordr Help with This Mandate? What About Existing Medical Devices?  

 Security of medical devices is a shared responsibility. While the FDA mandate can ensure security for a device before it is released to the market, the day-to-day management and security of devices post FDA approvals is the responsibility of healthcare providers and requires a solution like Ordr.  Ordr not only maintains an accurate device inventory and monitors devices for vulnerabilities and threats but also delivers device utilization details to optimize operations. 

 In addition, medical devices are expensive, and a complete upgrade to new devices that adhere to the new guidelines is not operationally feasible or cost effective. Ordr can ensure existing devices (pre-2022 devices) or devices with outdated operating systems in the network can be secured via Zero Trust segmentation policies to restrict access and communications to only enable access required for their role.  

 We recommend the following approach to secure every connected device. Download our Maturity Guide for connected device security for more details:   

  • See every device: You can’t protect what you don’t know about. Security starts with real-time, granular visibility of every device connected to your network and how those devices communicate within your environment and externally to the Internet. Every connected device in the hospital including IoMT, IoT, and operational technology (OT), plays a role in either patient care or hospital operations. Ultimately, the security of every device in the hospital can impact hospital services and patient safety, therefore real-time visibility into every device is essential.  

With regard to the new 2022 FDA mandate, Ordr can ingest SBOMs as manufacturers make them available, to enable easy visibility across the entire organization. Ordr Software Inventory Collector can complement manufacturer SBOMs by identifying applications for devices running Windows, iOS, and Linux operating systems.  

  • Know your attack surface: The attack surface for healthcare organizations can range widely. Organizations need to be able to identify the following risks within their connected devices 
    • Vulnerabilities – CVEs need to be prioritized and patched. Ordr offers full lifecycle vulnerability management capabilities to identify these vulnerabilities, prioritize them based on impact to a hospital (I.e., clinical risk), track and tag them for appropriate remediation workflows, and generate reports on them. Ordr also integrates with CMMS, CMDB tools to enrich their view of vulnerabilities, and ITSM systems to create tickets and manage workflows for remediation.  
    • FDA or manufacturing recalls – To meet compliance requirements, it is important to identify devices that have been recalled either by the FDA or manufacturers. Ordr integrates with FDA and manufacturing databases to provide insights and help hospitals identify impacted devices. 
    • Exploits and active threats – To protect healthcare organizations from active threats, Ordr offers an integrated intrusion detection system (IDS) that can inspect East West and North South device communications for active threats. Devices that are impacted by top security issues such as OpenSSL, Log4J, Solar Winds, and Conti, are highlighted in a unique security category in the Ordr dashboard for easy analysis. 
    • Anomalous behavior – Unlike most IT systems and software, medical devices, and many IoT and OT devices have deterministic functions. Ordr uses machine learning (ML) to baseline normal behavior for every device. From that baseline Ordr identifies deviations which can be an indication of attack or compromise including zero-day activity. In addition, Ordr can dynamically create policy to help ensure a rapid response enabling teams to contain and stop an attack. 
    • Track who is using your devices – By tracking and associating devices to users, Ordr can identify compromised devices and potential account misuse. 
  • Reacting to Zero Day events: By ingesting SBOMs and utilizing Ordr’s Software Inventory Collector, organizations can react quicker to Zero Day events. There is no need to wait for manufacturers to determine if devices are running a vulnerable application. Ordr correlates all the application information from both SBOM and Software Inventory Collector into one searchable database. 
  • Secure with automated policies:  
    • During an incident, quickly prevent lateral movement by pinpointing compromised devices and creating policies to quarantine the device, block ports or terminate sessions. 
    • Implement Zero Trust segmentation for vulnerable devices that cannot be patched: Zero Trust segmentation policies can keep these devices in operations by allowing only “normal communications” required for its function, while limiting exposure. 
    • When a new IoC (indicator of compromise) is announced, identify whether a device communicated with the malicious domain in the past 365 days.  

The Ordr platform is trusted by the world’s leading healthcare delivery organizations. Schedule a demo with our product experts to see how we can secure your connected devices. 



Great news! Ordr just announced the availability of the Service Graph Connector for Ordr in the ServiceNow Store. This integration is exciting for our customers, who can now maintain an up-to-date system of record for all assets so organizations can operate efficiently, react quickly, and manage risks more effectively.

Service Graph Connector for Ordr now available in the ServiceNow Store

Ordr provides the most comprehensive, accurate, real-time inventory of connected assets as a single source of truth. As the threat surface continuously evolves and expands, it is critical to ensure asset inventories are complete and provide the context to address risk proactively and reactively. With ServiceNow and Ordr’s bidirectional integration, Ordr’s device, network, and risk context are combined with the business context of ServiceNow. And the new Service Graph Connector for Ordr makes the integration more manageable and robust.

You now get a robust, most comprehensive, accurate real-time inventory of connected assets—from traditional IT to IoT, IoMT, and OT — and their risks in the ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB) to optimize enterprise-wide workflows and assess and manage risks.

Top Ten Security Risks of Incomplete and Outdated Asset Inventories

As given below, there are significant entry points that cybercriminals can exploit. With the combination of Ordr and ServiceNow, security and IT teams can identify and mitigate the following asset risks.

  1. Banned Equipment (Section 889)
    To protect national security, the federal government bans products manufactured by prohibited companies such as Kaspersky, Huawei, and Hikvision. These banned products can have vulnerabilities if exploited, resulting in the loss of intellectual property. The mandate covers new procurement and requires reporting within one business day if any prohibited asset is discovered in inventory.
  1. Unauthorized Devices
    Every unauthorized device that bypasses IT and operational tools and connects to a corporate network will expand the attack surface and could introduce significant risk. When the flash news of new vulnerabilities impacting corporate tools is announced, tracking all those instances of the compromised device can be challenging. This can include devices used in production and increasingly non-production or POV (Proof of Value) environments. The combination of Ordr and ServiceNow can proactively detect devices that can access other corporate servers and other precious devices and remove them from the network after the trial period.
  1. Orphaned/Missing Devices
    Maintaining good asset hygiene is always a best practice for improving security posture. It is critical to ensure that all assets registered and recorded by the procurement team are tracked and compared against all the devices connecting to the network. Any gaps should be reconciled proactively before it results in security concerns.
  1. Manufacturer Recall / FDA Recall
    Manufacturers may issue recall notices and security bulletins for significant vulnerabilities discovered. This is prevalent in regulated industries with mission-critical medical and industrial equipment devices. Similarly, from a federal regulation perspective, there can be recalls for sensitive equipment such as medical devices. Ordr can collate all recall announcements from multiple sources and tag all devices impacted; this context can be shared with ServiceNow.
  1. Default Credentials
    Business groups typically install IoT devices such as cameras in batches. The person responsible for the installation is usually not technical and often needs to gain knowledge or experience to change default passwords. It is unrealistic, if not impossible, to have a process to choose multiple unique passwords for physical security cameras when hundreds to thousands are going up in the ceiling. Think of the risk when hundreds of devices default to “Password1”. These passwords are not rotated periodically using over-the-air methods, like a password policy that enforces periodic password changes for laptops and desktops. An asset management system that combines the Ordr “default password discovery” feature with ServiceNow CMDB can alert administrators to update the credentials associated with these devices.
  1. Rogue Wireless/Switches that are bridging traffic to the internet (5G/LTE/Guest Wi-Fi)
    Unauthorized devices usually connect to a corporate open port and a set of devices using a daisy chain mechanism. Suppose the consumer-grade switches/routers come with LTE or link to the Guest Wi-Fi network. In this case, taking corporate data and exfiltrating without going through all the border controls exercised by firewalls becomes easier. It is a vast attack surface. Even when a good asset management and visibility solution is implemented, one needs a sophisticated tool to understand this daisy chain mechanism throughout the network to keep an exact list of these devices and implement a solution to eliminate them. An asset management system must integrate with a sophisticated visibility tool to detect and eliminate these daisy chain devices; this is why the Ordr and ServiceNow integration is so powerful.
  1. Non-Compliant Devices
    When a corporate Antivirus (AV)/Endpoint Detection Response (EDR) policy mandates that all IT endpoints (e.g., laptops, mobile, desktops) need to have a robust agent/software installed, it is not easy to audit all the devices and pull a list of those that do not have the required software installed. One step further than that is how challenging it is to ensure all those EDR agents are continuously running and receiving updates periodically to detect and thwart the latest attacks.Expired Certificates: We have all experienced how frantic it is to fix a certificate issue when a critical server stops working with expired certs. With a good asset management strategy, corporate IT can track all certificate expirations and implement a plan to address them periodically. Both these insights are readily available with Ordr and can be shared with ServiceNow.
  1. Local User Accounts without Domain Joins
    All users accessing a system must be part of Windows Active Directory (AD), if possible. This is especially critical in the case of older Windows machines that usually have a lot of unpatched vulnerabilities. Even if the device is part of the domain controller, sometimes operators can create local users on these machines. This practice must be watched closely, and a list of all locally-made user accounts must be extracted and reported continuously. When hackers create local user accounts and leave them dormant for later exploitation, it is easy to identify and remove those inactive accounts and fix the machines with malware infections.
  1. End-of-Life / Outdated OS
    Assets running end-of-life and outdated operating systems pose a significant risk to the organization. The first step is to identify these end-of-life devices. This can be a struggle without a solution like Ordr and ServiceNow that not only delivers accurate real-time inventory but now extends visibility to IoT, IoMT, and OT devices that often have longer operating cycles than traditional IT endpoints.Note that upgrading all devices running end-of-life or outdated OS is a logical way to address potential risks. But upgrading these devices in regulated industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and banking might not be possible due to backward compatibility issues. In some cases, an update to a device will trigger the need to re-certify the device with federal regulators. For all these cases, it is prudent to have a segmentation strategy to isolate outdated and at-risk devices from other parts of your environment, which could get be easily accomplished with Ordr’s behavioral baselining and automated Zero Trust policies.
  1. Unpatched Devices Vulnerable to Exploitation
    This is the most important reason one should embark on an asset management strategy to get an accurate view of all connected devices and their associated details. An asset management strategy must include identifying operating system (OS) versions and patch levels for each connected device. This makes it easy to highlight the exact CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) that are still open and vulnerable that a potential hacker could exploit. Having this list as a work item and tracking how the patching for these devices is progressing is one of the most foundational aspects of cyber security an organization can initiate.

Asset Management Aligned to Risk Reduction

An incomplete and inaccurate asset inventory poses many risks. The risks can extend from non-compliance to safety and regulatory concerns. On top of that, add the problems of security breaches, which can cause high financial and reputation costs to organizations.

Understanding your attack surface by implementing a robust asset management strategy that identifies and closely tracks vulnerabilities and threats from the entire asset universe of IT, OT, IoT, ICS, BMS, and IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) will minimize the risk imposed on an organization. We are proud to offer the Service Graph Connector for Ordr to help customers achieve the comprehensive and accurate asset inventory they need to simplify workflows, improve security, and accelerate incident response.

When the Biden-Harris Administration issued its National Cybersecurity Strategy on March 2, I was thrilled to see the high profile focus on this topic. Social media was quickly buzzing as bloggers, influencers, and just about everyone with an opinion to share were in a rush to be first out of the gate with their hot takes. There was a lot of energy surrounding the announcement, and that’s a good thing. The cybersecurity community benefits from the attention when the White House lays out a vision for cyberdefense that highlights many of the issues that have plagued industry for years.

From within the team here at Ordr there is consensus that one of the biggest takeaways from the document is the “we’re in this together” message that pervaded the memo accompanying the strategy. Although that has been true for nearly fifty years—since the advent of the first computer virus in the early 1970s–cooperation among private enterprises and government has not been the way the industry has operated.

That has to change if we are to make meaningful progress toward a stouter national cybersecurity posture. As the president said, “to be able to trust that the underlying digital ecosystem is safe, reliable, and secure” requires “robust collaboration, particularly between the public and private sectors.” That means going beyond merely trying to protect individual enterprises, but striving for greater cooperation in areas like sharing threat intelligence, greater interoperability of tools and platforms, and building technology products with a security-first philosophy.

A Cohesive Vision

After reading through the National Cybersecurity Strategy, it struck me that at its core the strategy is about accountability. The emphasis of its content was on consolidating a number of policies that have been announced previously, and expressing them in a single, cohesive document that lets everyone affected by these policies know what is expected of them. Accountability and simplicity are important for public and private organizations that need to draft their own cybersecurity strategies; and it is important for technology innovators and service providers who must develop the tools we will rely on to meet the goals of this ambitious strategy, namely increased security and resilience for, and trust in, the infrastructure of our digital economy.

Complementing the National Cybersecurity Strategy, the White House also released a Fact Sheet to summarize and reiterate the Strategy’s goals, describing five pillars on which the plan will be built, including:

  • Defend Critical Infrastructure
  • Disrupt and Dismantle Threat Actors
  • Shape Market Forces to Drive Security and Resilience
  • Invest in a Resilient Future
  • Forge International Partnerships to Pursue Shared Goals

To achieve these ambitious goals demands an acknowledgment that business-as-usual cannot continue, and that cybersecurity must be elevated as a priority for all organizations from small companies to large enterprises. This requires making greater investments in effective security programs and calls for a seat at the table for CIOs and CISOs to advocate for such programs at the board level. Some key points from the Fact Sheet that stand out as vital to doing this are:

  • “[Expand] the use of minimum cybersecurity requirements in critical sectors.”
  • “[Enable] public-private collaboration at the speed and scale necessary to defend critical infrastructure and essential services.”
  • “[Address] the ransomware threat through a comprehensive Federal approach and in lockstep with our international partners.”
  • “Place responsibility on those within our digital ecosystem that are best positioned to reduce risk.”
  • “[Reduce] systemic technical vulnerabilities in the foundation of the Internet and across the digital ecosystem.”
  • “[Prioritize] cybersecurity R&D for next-generation technologies;” and,
  • “[Develop] a diverse and robust national cyber workforce.”

A Plan for Today and Tomorrow

The Cybersecurity memo demonstrates a vision that takes into account both current needs  and reliance on connected devices comprising the Internet of Things (IoT)–an issue near and dear to our hearts here at Ordr. In Strategic Objective 3.2: Drive the Development of Secure IoT Devices, the National Cybersecurity Strategy accurately observes that “many of the IoT devices deployed today are not sufficiently protected against cybersecurity threats. Too often they have been deployed with inadequate default settings, can be difficult or impossible to patch or upgrade, or come equipped with advanced—and sometimes unnecessary—capabilities that enable malicious cyber activities on critical physical and digital systems.”

No Time to Waste

Establishing regulations that address the weaknesses of IoT devices are necessary, but they will take years to draft, enact, and enforce. In the meantime, there are tens of billions of connected devices in operation today, many of which fit the description defined by the White House. These risks need to be addressed today whether or not there is a law compelling compliance.

“We must ensure the Internet remains open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure—anchored in universal values that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

Fortunately, the methodologies and applications to close the IoT security gap are available now, and embodied in the Ordr platform and our See, Know, Secure approach to connected device security. Ordr’s platform has been built to discover every connected device operating in a network while profiling and monitoring each device for known risks and risky behavior. Then, taking that information and automating the segmentation and policy enforcement necessary to prevent threats targeting IoT and stop active threats from moving laterally within an environment. This philosophy is one the federal government already acknowledges as effective, and was mandated for all executive branch agencies by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its recent Binding Operational Directive 23-01 (BOD 23-01), issued last October and going into effect next month.

As we have with previous policy announcements such as Strengthening America’s Cybersecurity, the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act, the PATCH Act, and Zero-Trust initiatives, Ordr supports–in word and action–the White House’s efforts to advance the protection of cybersecurity. We agree wholeheartedly with President Biden when he said, “We must ensure the Internet remains open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure—anchored in universal values that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Digital connectivity should be a tool that uplifts and empowers people everywhere, not one used for repression and coercion.”