Great Bay Software: The Guardian of Connected Devices

Great Bay Software: The Guardian of Connected Devices

CIO VendorJim Scullion, CEO Internet connected the people around the world, and now it’s time for “Things” to jump on the bandwagon of connectivity. Juniper research predicted that by 2020, there will be 38.5 billion connected devices—electric bulbs, garage doors, refrigerator…just name it. IDC says it’ll be 20.9 billion. Gartner’s guess? Twenty-five billion. And these same analysts are predicting that the market opportunity for Internet of Things (IoT) will explode into trillions of devices within the same decade. “Sure, it is going to be huge, but many organizations in the energy sector are highly concerned about the security risks associated with connected devices,” says Jim Scullion, CEO, Great Bay Software—a company known for mitigating cyber threats by providing comprehensive IoT connection security. “Many IT leaders have their hands cuffed with the poor built-in security measures for their smart meters and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).” No industry has as much to lose due to a data breach as the energy and utilities sector. According to Great Bay, successful cyber-crimes cost the energy industry an average of $26 million a year.

Scullion recalls the earliest known IoT breach that took place back in 2005 at TJ Maxx—the discount retail chain featuring apparel, shoes & accessories, plus housewares— where the attacks took advantage of inadequate security capabilities in the Wi-Fi access points to breach a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal in one of their stores. “Now even though they may have an ‘Endpoint Security’ and/or a‘Network Access Control (NAC)’ solution in place, energy enterprises and their smart assets are still vulnerable to beaches,” says Scullion. It’s a castle made of sand in the path of an imminent IoT tempest. It’s high time for energy enterprises to start shifting their endpoint resources—mobile and smart devices—towards IoT connection security.

"Our pricing takes the guesswork and headache out of the purchase decisions by including the cost of deployment, configuration, training, annual configuration optimization, and business reviews"

For organizations ready to play big in the IoT ballgame, Great Bay’s Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM is a guide for the maze of device management. “IT teams use Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM, which includes over 1,300 pre-build device profiles, to accurately identify, onboard, monitor, and granularly enforce access policies on every endpoint— managed, unmanaged and unmanageable,” says Scullion. This is critical given that three-fourth of a typical organization's devices, which includes printers, fax machines, smart meters, HVAC systems and other IoT devices, remain untouched by most of the security solutions in the market. Great Bay's speed, scale and simplicity gives the energy sector the power to quell modern-day threats originating from connected devices; while simplifying regulatory compliance and streamlining the operations.

IT teams use Profiler, which includes 1,300 pre-built device profiles, to accurately identify, monitor, and granularly enforce access policies on every endpoint— managed, unmanaged and unmanageable

Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM gives a concrete coating around the smart devices—transforming the sand castle into an impenetrable fortress for enterprises in the energy sector.

A Proactive Touch to Security

Great Bay has also kept the vogue of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) as the epicenter of its offerings. Fostering an open environment, BYOD welcomes a new form of communications, but, on the flip side, attracts more breaches as well. “With majority of eyes focused on BYOD and cloud, IoT devices are left without guards,” says Scullion. What is needed is a comprehensive look at not just BYOD, but every networked device, coupled with the deep contextual knowledge of each endpoint. Great Bay’s Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM brings the spotlight on every network-attached endpoint—no endpoint can enter the network without detection.

The Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM technology works by dynamically pulling together data gathered from a variety of sources to create and maintain a comprehensive picture of the network and each endpoint on it. With Great Bay as their partner, organizations can keep tab on every mobile device attached to their network, the location of these devices, and their behavior. If a mobile tool or an endpoint starts behaving uncharacteristically, the IT team is automatically notified. The instant notification, combined with real-time and historical location information, will allow the IT expert to be proactive, identify, and address issues in quick succession. Great Bay stands tall with organizations and government bodies as their security and risk management partner to fill the cracks on their networking infrastructure.

The Greater Sudbury Experience

It was a proud moment for the Great Bay team when Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM was chosen by City of Greater Sudbury—the largest city in Northern Ontario. The City’s Ontario municipality, serving more than 160,000 people, provides its residents with one of the basic human necessities: clean and portable water. “Network security is crucial to Greater Sudbury and their Water Treatment Facility business unit, as a breach could have serious consequences,” says Scullion. “That’s why Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM was selected to automate the profiling and authentication of an estimated 3,200 devices on their network.” To their amazement, Beacon immediately discovered and profiled over 6000 devices—nearly two times the planned number.

“Today, Beacon helps safeguard over 6,300 endpoints in 173 locations, including 90 unstaffed sites,” prides Scullion.

The task involves: securing access of the network’s wired, wireless, user and non-user devices; safely enabling users to bring their own devices; and protecting open and unsecured IT ports from accidental or criminal incidents—all while minimizing IT labor expenses. Along with providing full endpoint visibility, Beacon has also proven valuable for authenticating and onboarding non-user devices.

“Beacon has significantly increased our confidence levels and administrative capabilities, while reducing the IT security risks for critical water treatment facilities,” said Jim Dolson, Manager of Hardware and Technology, City of Greater Sudbury. “With so many unstaffed locations, we were concerned about breaches. Great Bay helps us protect devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and other controllers and monitor traffic from the devices.”

Beacon Endpoint ProfilerTM delivered the full endpoint visibility vital for effectively securing the City of Greater Sudbury’s network and mitigating the risks associated with it. Its automated capabilities have eliminated significant amounts of manual effort and expense to authenticate devices and monitor their activities. In addition, the City has realized major time savings in implementing new locations. “Technicians use Beacon on a daily basis to spot an errant device’s location and characteristics in real-time so they can quickly identify and resolve potential threats,” says Scullion. Beacon’s vendor-agnostic platform is designed to easily integrate with any network access control solution, which will help the city ensure ongoing network safety and efficiency for years to come.

Sensors and all that Jazz

It will not be an overstatement to say IoT will be pulling the strings of the business world in the days to come. Everything will be sewed with the fabric of internet. But it’s not going to be a plain-sailing task from the security standpoint. It will require innovation and technologies, blended together with passion to keep the internet safe from cyber attacks. Such innovation and passion are the virtues of Great Bay. Their solutions are tuned with resilience and simplicity—purchased by over 200 customers including some of the largest Fortune 100 companies. And Great Bayworks works diligently with each of their customers to optimize smart devices and ensure they are realizing full business value from their investment.

Great Bay solutions are provided under an “all-inclusive subscription pricing model”, based on the number of smart devices. “Our pricing takes the guesswork and headache out of the purchase decisions by including the cost of deployment, training, annual configuration optimization, and business reviews,” says Scullion.

In the realm of IoT, growth in unmanageable devices is one of the biggest and most underestimated risks. “We intend, by offering our solution, to help enterprises tone down the growing risk in the area of IoT,” says Scullion. In the coming months, the company will be seen strengthening their grip in energy, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors first, then, Great Bay will make inroads to the rest of the enterprise world. “We have laid out a compelling multi-year growth strategy; around leading the IoT connection security space,” ends Scullion.

- Arun Kant
    May 31, 2016
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Top 10 Security & Risk Management Solution Companies - 2016

Great Bay Software


Jim Scullion, CEO

A provider of Beacon Endpoint Profiler that ensures the safety of networks and smart sensors