NexDefense Releases Sophia™ Commercial Version 2.1 and adds Billy Rios to ICS Cybersecurity Fellows Program™

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Award-Winning Anomaly Detection Software to Provide Greater Insight and Real-time Visibility

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Sophia Commercial Version 2.1 further reduces the chances for unintentional errors and misconfigurations, while also making it harder for hackers and attackers to hide if they are targeting industrial control systems.

NexDefense Inc., a leading authority on cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS), today announced the release of its newest version of Sophia™— its award-winning ICS monitoring and network anomaly detection software. In addition, Billy Rios joins the NexDefense Cybersecurity Fellows program to further raise awareness and education of cybersecurity risks to industry.

“We continue to work closely with our customers across all industries to expand the feature-set of the NexDefense Sophia software’s zero-touch approach to anomaly detection for control systems,” said Doug Wylie, vice president product marketing and strategy at NexDefense. “Directly responding to customer requests, this newest product release includes a number of key enhancements that add to Sophia’s already-rich capabilities. It now provides even greater situational awareness and insight into changes to ICS that may negatively affect operational safety and security.”

NexDefense Sophia Commercial Version 2.1 will further empower ICS owners and operators to secure and protect critical physical and cyber assets by providing actionable intelligence and enabling real-time visibility into potentially malicious network communications and behaviors.

The NexDefense Sophia Software Version 2.1 now includes:

•Expanded real-time industrial protocol Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and analysis
•Enhanced 3-D visualization and customization options, including device placement onto customer network diagrams, facility layouts, and aerial maps
•Device identification and tracking by MAC address
•Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) device identification
•Device tagging by network and VLAN to distinguish duplicate IP addresses
•User-configurable device-aging to monitor and visualize transient devices
•Richer network and device data statistics
•More flexible data and alert filtering with data export and notification capabilities
•Various security, performance and software compatibility improvements

Adding to these comments, Eric Byres, President Byres Security Consulting and NexDefense Cybersecurity Fellow said, “The NexDefense Sophia product is creating a new dimension in ICS/SCADA defense-in-depth solutions - real time situational awareness for control systems. Sophia’s ability to detect potentially malicious activities on the network allows for rapid and informed decisions to be made to protect key assets. Real time awareness and response capabilities are imperative for commercial utilities, defense, state, local and federal agencies that need to keep critical infrastructures running safely and smoothly.”

Wylie said, “Sophia’s newest capabilities deliver even greater benefit to those who already value its combination of data and visualization that alerts on unusual events as it tracks device connectivity, communication patterns and specific industrial protocols used inside their systems. Sophia Commercial Version 2.1 further reduces the chances for unintentional errors and misconfigurations, while also making it harder for hackers and attackers to hide if they are targeting industrial control systems.”

In parallel, NexDefense is also pleased to announce the expansion of its ICS Cybersecurity Fellows Program™ by welcoming Billy Rios—author, speaker, serial entrepreneur, formerly with Microsoft, Google and Qualys, and founder of WhiteScope LLC as its newest publicly recognizable industrial security practitioner.

“Our personal dependence to always being connected stems from always-on products and always-available networks,” said Billy Rios. “Many consumer, business and industrial-grade devices operate reliably, yet we are still regularly reminded how fragile and vulnerable they are to attacks. As a NexDefense Fellow, I look forward to raising awareness and exploring these types of topics to help manufacturers, integrators and control system owners and operators better protect their products and systems.”

Wylie added, “Billy marks our fifth Fellow and he highly complements the team with his deep level of knowledge and world class skills to identify security risks in product design and deployment. He is a true pioneer in his field and has responsibly brought attention to contemporary security challenges affecting connected devices across industry sectors, from manufacturing to medicine. We are extremely privileged to include Billy in our Fellows program.”

Mr. Rios joins other existing and well recognized NexDefense Cybersecurity Fellows and will coordinate with the company to discuss important cybersecurity topics and raise visibility to better protect critical industrial control systems across all sectors.

For more information on NexDefense Sophia and the Cybersecurity Fellows Program, visit and


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 monitoring and anomaly detection system, control system engineers, operators and security practitioners can gain valuable insight into networking events and activities that can negatively affect vital process and manufacturing systems. When employed throughout the control system’s lifecycle, its proven capacity to continuously identify, analyze and warn about deviations from normal operations provides unparalleled situational awareness and actionable intelligence to limit risk, reduce liabilities and enhance control system safety, security and productivity. For more information on NexDefense, visit and follow us @NexDefense.

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Caroline Cassidy
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