Q&A with Lucas Kane: A Modern Approach to Securing Critical Control Networks

You have a smart phone. Obviously. But is your case artful and reflective of your personality? You’re on LinkedIn and social media. Of course. But have you stretched into Snapchat and tried Periscoping live?

You’ve read the articles on growing cyber security threats. No question. But have you truly researched the most effective ways to protect your business?cyber pic 3

We have and found one that’s pretty hip.

Gray Matter Systems is announcing a brand new solution to help industrial operations teams and IT departments effectively cloak and protect critical infrastructure, assets, and information to minimize exposure to cyber-security threats. It’s called the HIPApp.

HIP stands for Host, Identity and Protocol.

Today we’re getting the real story on what the HIPApp is and how it works from our partners at Tempered Networks. They gave us the inside information during an interview with their Director of Product Management, Lucas Kane.

Q: First question, Lucas – What does HIPApp stand for and what’s the naming significance?

LK: The HIPApp is a native application for Windows 7 & 10 machines. Installing a HIPApp embeds a cryptographic identity on the Windows machine and the identity can then be verified (and managed) by a Conductor.

A Conductor admin can then add the HIPApp (and therefore the Windows machine) into overlay networks and whitelist the HIPApp/Windows machine, enabling a laptop, for example, to securely communicate with protected devices that reside in Overlay networks.

Q: In simplest terms, what does the HIPApp do?

LK: The HIPApp embeds a virtual HIPswitch onto a Windows 7 or 10 machine. Once installed, the HIPApp will appear in the Conductor UI and can be managed in the same way that a HIPswitch protected device is managed.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake companies make right now when it comes to cyber security?

(LK) – Relying on perimeter security as the instrument for securing critical assets and segmenting networks.

Q: How do you recommend companies solve this issue?

LK: We recommend that companies use a defense in depth approach that micro-segments their networks, facilitates end-to-end encryption, cloaks the devices on their WAN/LAN infrastructure networks and is easy to manage at scale.

Q: How is HIPApp different from other cyber security solutions?

LK: The HIPApp extends the footprint of the Tempered Networks solution. Windows 7 & 10 machines can now participate in Overlay networks. The difference between traditional security solutions and the Tempered solution is the ease of management at scale.

While the Tempered solution facilitates segmentation, end-to-end encryption, automated PKI, device base whitelisting and device cloaking, it does not require traditional security solution expertise and is easy to manage even at enterprise scale.

Q: Secure networking is so complex, how does HIPApp make it easier?

LK: The Tempered solution simplifies security as our intuitive Conductor user interface facilitates single-pane-of-glass management of all HIPservices and protected devices.


  • The simplicity of the Tempered solution reduces the risk of misconfiguration
  • The Tempered solution facilitates orchestration of a large number of devices and HIPservices
  • The Tempered solution leverages device-based whitelisting so devices cannot communicate until they are specifically allowed to communicate. This is a reverse approach to traditional security solutions.

Q: Is there a savings and how?

LK: The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the Tempered solution is significantly less than traditional security solutions.

The upfront cost of our physical, virtual and cloud HIPswitches and Conductors is on par with traditional solutions, however, the time to deploy and manage the Tempered solution is significantly reduced when compared side-by-side with traditional security solutions.

Q:What’s your favorite feature of the new solution?

LK: The HIPApp, the API and the Visual Trust Maps

Thanks to Lucas Kane from Tempered Networks for bringing us up to speed on the latest solutions in cyber security.

If this conversation with Lucas made sense to you, why not hear from Tempered Networks live at our annual user group conference in Put-in-Bay, OH?

Join their session, “A Modern Approach to Securing Critical Control Networks and Endpoints” to learn more about connecting and protecting new and legacy devices, while increasing visibility into your vital systems.


Solving the Data Integration Problem with Bit Stew Systems

This guest blog post by Mike Varney originally appeared on Bit Stew Systems’ blog page, Bit View. 

Data integration is proving to be the Achilles heel of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and is blocking progress on
the transformations and ROI that industrial enterprises had originally envisioned.

Typical Big Data analytics projects that employ traditional ETL or Business Intelligence tools often falter under the complexity and scale of industrial environments. The rigid architecture and manual process associated with these solutions make them less than ideal for an industrial customer.

So why are so many industrial customers still using these clunky, brittle, and slow solutions?

ETL: Compounding Your Data Problem?
ETL or Extract, Transform, and Load is a traditional IT methodology whereby data systems architects tasked with Machine Intelligenceproviding data intelligence from multiple systems will first extract the data and place it all into a common location, then apply transformations to normalize or cleanse the data and then place it back in this common container for analysis. It may not seem laborious to the untrained eye but ask any data wrangler, enterprise architect, or IT manager and they will tell you that ETL can take several professionals months.

So why do it? ETL is attractive to IT departments because it usually leverages existing software investments and does not require teams to come up to speed on any new technology. In fact, it has been a tried and true method for decades.

IIoT Amplifies the Data Integration Challenge
Those who opt for traditional ETL are forgetting that the Industrial IoT is set to connect billions of more devices to the Internet by 2020. That explosion of data will most certainly be too rapid, and too large of a change for traditional systems to handle.

The risk for those who lag behind the curve on Industrial IoT is that they will cease to be competitive in the global industrial markets. Almost all industries will be affected by this change, from oil and gas to manufacturing and all those in between.

The technologies behind IIoT have brought significant advancements to industries such as Manufacturing, Transportation, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Energy, Automotive and others.  These technologies have allowed industry to remotely monitor and control assets to optimize production and improve yields.

However, these same technologies have exacerbated a long standing data integration problem by massively increasing the volume, velocity and diversity of data required by the business.

A New Way of ThinkingMachine Intelligence
Solving the data integration challenge requires a new way of thinking and traditional data architectures must be reimagined to support the rapid proliferation of data from an exponentially expanding set of data types. So what’s the solution? The key to solving the data integration challenge is semantics.

Bit Stew’s integration technology is designed to rapidly ingest and integrate data to provide a semantic understanding of information across disparate systems. Deeper analytics can then be applied intelligently through analysis methods and workbenches.

Download the infographic to get a deeper understanding of the steps required to create a semantic model.

Download the White Paper

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