NexDefense Releases First Significant Upgrades to Sophia, Cybersecurity Software for Industrial Control Systems

Share Article

As Cyber Threats to Critical Infrastructure Increase, NexDefense Adds Asset Identification and Deep Packet Inspection, and Enhances Visualization for Superior Real-time Network Monitoring & Situational Awareness

News Image
NexDefense is committed to empowering operators with the visibility necessary to maintain the integrity, availability and confidentiality of all essential operations.

NexDefense, the foremost authority on cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS), today announced the forthcoming release of Sophia 15.0, which contains the first significant upgrades to the software since NexDefense acquired its exclusive rights from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Improvements to Sophia 15.0 are asset identification for deeper visibility into network communications, deep packet inspection for industrial protocols, and enhanced visualization for invaluable communications monitoring, compliance and threat monitoring. Sophia 15.0 will augment the software’s existing network monitoring and situational awareness capabilities, further streamlining the mission critical processes of maintaining a clean baseline of communications to identify anomalies in real time, before an incident or event can occur.

Sophia 15.0

  • Asset Identification – Provides unparalleled visibility into all devices communicating on the network, empowering operators to create and maintain a clean baseline of approved communications, and conversely, detect and warn of anomalous behavior in real-time. It will also provide risk management consultants with greater transparency during the network validation and assessment process.
  • Deep Packet Inspection for Industrial Protocols – Enables operators to identify the ways in which protocols are formed and how they are behaving, to ensure proper traffic among devices communicating within the network. Deep packet inspection will empower operators to gather information about the behavior of protocols and validate the communication between devices, as well as provide them with the visibility necessary to identify ICS-specific malware.
  • Enhanced Visualization – Provides plant operators with the ability to customize, group and organize devices on a Human-Machine Interface (HMI), improving their display and analysis capabilities and increasing the value of their communications monitoring within the industrial control network. Enhanced visualization can also streamline compliance, threat monitoring and reporting by organizing the visualization to reflect the Purdue model and security zones.

“Sophia already provides control systems owners and operators with the unprecedented real-time network monitoring and situational awareness needed to detect anomalous communications,” said Mike Sayre, co-founder, president and CEO of NexDefense. “As threats from nation states, cyber terrorists and hacktivists advance in frequency and sophistication, NexDefense is committed to empowering operators with the visibility necessary to maintain the integrity, availability and confidentiality of all essential operations.”

Understanding IT/OT Convergence at RSA
Cyber risks have significantly increased over the last few years as a result of information technology (IT) being connected to legacy control systems to reduce costs and improve productivity. The problem arises because operational technology (OT) running plant equipment and IT business systems have historically existed as two disparate entities. Despite silos in business, culture and risks tolerances, IT and OT must converge to properly protect critical infrastructure from cyber attack.

To better understand the security challenges and opportunities of IT/OT convergence, NexDefense today released its first infographic on the subject, which precedes next week’s publication of a white paper, called Bridging the Great Divide. The white paper is co-authored by NexDefense’s executive chairman Derek Harp and Bengt Gregory-Brown, an independent cybersecurity researcher, specializing in industrial control systems. The white paper will be available to all RSA attendees via download at

Meet NexDefense at RSA
On Monday, April 20, NexDefense will showcase its cybersecurity technology to the Innovation Sandbox Contest’s panel of judges for a chance to be named “Most Innovative Company at RSA Conference 2015.” NexDefense was selected as one of 10 finalists among a record-breaking number of applications. Show attendees, media and analysts are encouraged to visit NexDefense’s kiosk and view their presentation at North Room 134 beginning at 10am.

About NexDefense
NexDefense empowers industrial control system operators with the real-time knowledge needed to maintain system integrity and combat sophisticated cybersecurity threats. Through Sophia, a patent-pending Industrial Network Anomaly Detection (INAD) system, engineers, security, and control system operators can covertly maintain direct insight and control over threats and increase compliance without sacrificing productivity, optimization or performance. Originally funded by the United States Department of Energy and developed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) under the management by the Battelle Energy Alliance, Sophia’s proven capacity to continuously identify, analyze and warn about deviations from normal operations limits risk, reduces liabilities and ensures the integrity of critical industrial automation and control systems. For more information on NexDefense, visit and follow us @NexDefense.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Caroline Cassidy
+1 855-300-8209
Email >
since: 09/2012
Follow >
NexDefense, Inc.

Follow us on
Visit website