ChannelLife New Zealand - Industry insider news for technology resellers
Story image
Datacom forms strategic partnership with Nozomi Networks
Tue, 1st Aug 2023

Datacom has formed a strategic partnership with Nozomi Networks to provide full-service IT and OT MSSP offerings designed to help defend Aotearoa's critical infrastructure.

The partnership will see Datacom become what it believes is the first all-service OT Managed Security Service Provider (OT MSSP) in New Zealand to simultaneously combine services and implementation for the IT and OT side of security.

This will support Datacom's broader focus on providing innovative solutions that help defend organisations throughout Aotearoa against growing cyber threats. 

Datacom will also be supported by ICS/OT security experts, SGS ECL.

Operational Technology(OT) refers to the use of hardware and software systems (including Industrial IoT solutions) to control and monitor physical devices and processes in various industries such as water treatment, power generation, manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and more. 

It includes industrial control systems (ICS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and other technologies crucial for critical infrastructure operations.

Karl Wright, CISO and CIO of Datacom Group says the new converged IT and OT MSSP offering addresses growing concerns at the Board level when it comes to managing operational cyber risks, specifically amongst those organisations providing services in the utilities, energy, transport, healthcare and manufacturing space.

"Ensuring Aotearoa's critical infrastructure, including our energy and water supplies, healthcare, communications, and transport, is adequately protected from external attacks and political threat actors is crucial to our country, communities, and economy," says Wright. 

"Globally, we've seen a noticeable increase in the number of targeted attacks against critical infrastructure. These attacks are designed to inflict maximum disruption and financial loss." 

"The 2021 Colonial Pipeline attack in the US is just one example of this and highlights just how disruptive a successful cyber-attack on critical infrastructure can be, not just for the organisation targeted, but for customers, the general public, and in some cases, the country as a whole," says Wright. 

Under the agreement, Datacom will provide customers with ongoing monitoring and incident response support with Nozomi Networks sensors and monitoring consoles. 

The SGS ECL will provide OT/ICS technical expertise, including installation, configuration, maintenance, escalation, and consultancy support.

"Together, Datacom, Nozomi Networks and SGS ECL, can provide organisations in New Zealand with a full OT offering," says Wright. 

"From comprehensive risk assessments of customers' OT environments to the design and implementation of security architectures tailored to their specific OT needs and 24/7 monitoring and management of customers' OT environments."

Nozomi Networks solutions support more than 89 million devices in thousands of installations across energy, manufacturing, mining, transportation, utilities, building automation, smart cities, and critical infrastructure. 

Its products are deployable onsite and in the cloud and span IT, OT, and IoT to automate inventorying, visualising and monitoring industrial control networks through artificial intelligence. Use cases stretch beyond cybersecurity and include troubleshooting, asset management, and predictive maintenance.

Datacom's Cyber Defence Operations Centre (CDOC) is explicitly designed for this new offering. It enables proactive OT monitoring and response capability not offered by any other provider in New Zealand.

Chet Namboodri, Nozomi Networks Senior Vice President of Alliances and Channels, says: "As OT, IT and IoT worlds converge, the attack surface is growing larger and securing it is more complex."

"We are pleased to team with Datacom to provide customers with the best possible solution to minimise security risk and maximise operational resilience, all with the assurance of managed services through a highly respected partner."

Peter Jackson, SGS ECL Engineering Manager (OT) Cyber, says: "We have worked successfully with Datacom in defending New Zealand's critical infrastructure with our relative strengths in IT and OT." 

"We are pleased to build on our existing relationship, leveraging our individual and joint experience, and take the next step in supporting NZ industrial organisations together." 

Datacom will also add an additional layer of physical security to its offering, with electronic surveillance, employee access, video surveillance and automatic licence plate recognition.