2020 is here and like most in the cyber security industry, I’m taking it as a time to reflect on where Verve Industrial came from, the success we achieved, and consider what the year ahead may have in store for us. I am no Carnac the Magnificent, but if the past is prologue, I’d like to take a look at what is happening in the OT cyber security industry, and more importantly, how those trends align with Verve’s successful past and future journey.
As I look back on my past four years, I am proud of what Verve has built, and I am even more excited about what it means for our customers in the coming years. I am proud of our results that CEO John Livingston recently shared. Growing over 5oo% in new customers and over 300% in bookings last year is truly a testament to the Verve Industrial team and the focus on client service and customer success.
As I took a step back during the holidays, I reflected on what is really driving these results. Certainly, the awareness of the need for greater OT cyber security has increased but at a pace of 3x and 5x growth? Probably not. I am convinced it comes down first to our commitment to client service and delivering a solution that delivers true impact in improving cyber security maturity.
And that solution is based on two fundamental innovations that were built over the past five years or so.
Cyber Security Product Innovation
Over the past five years, Verve kept an ear to the ground, listening closely to customers’ needs. We didn't get distracted when the noise got loud about passive anomaly detection as “the only solution”. We focused on our customers’ need for truly managing and protecting the assets (or end points) in the client environments. Customers told us they had a need for true asset management, including robust inventories with rich information on each asset, true end point management and risk remediation, identification of end point behaviors indicative of risks or threats, all in a simple-to-use packaged solution.
Because of our concentration on this area, Verve Security Center (VSC) is now the only cyber security solution on the market focused on true end point management and security operations for OT environments. It is a completely different approach than those who began from the network back or from monitoring of configuration for operational purposes. It appears to be hitting the mark given the recent customer results.
Commitment to Service Excellence
John's recent article highlights our long-term view of the market and client needs. Verve has delivered distinctive OT client service for a quarter of a century. When potential investors told us to ditch services in favor of pure software, we respectfully declined because clients told us how difficult it was to find and develop enough OT security operations talent.
We have remained committed to providing services (and partnering deeply with other service providers) to provide a complete solution. We have invested in innovating those services by integrating VSC into automated vulnerability assessments as well as "rapid remediation" solutions using Verve to remediate thousands of vulnerabilities in a matter of days. We have integrated our deep expertise in data historian and alarm management with our security services to provide a holistic offering for true reliability and security of these critical systems. I could go on, but the point is that services will remain a distinctive capability to help our clients mature.
A Three-Pronged Approach to Success in Cyber Security Client Services
Many of our customers know what they need to do and want to do so they leverage a smaller, centralized team that is vastly overworked and under-supported. Our enterprise-wide view of asset risk coupled with the ability to remediate those risks instantly improves the central teams’ ability from inventory through to remediation and reporting.
We realize that most organizations have trusted service providers already in their facilities. These providers look much like Verve in how they are first and foremost systems integrators who know as much or more about our clients’ operational ecosystems as our clients do. These partners are uniquely positioned to help implement Verve’s technology and guide our customers to manage and reduce risk and increase system safety and health.
In line with the trusted partner approach, we understand that Verve is somewhat unique in the industry due to our skills in the networking and security aspects of OT cyber security as well as in the OT systems or systems integration piece. Most competing vendors we come across are very strong in one or the other, but not both.
We also realize that many clients do not have ‘valued partners’ that are as trusted across as many OEM platforms as might be required (we support and are familiar with them all) so a wider perspective (OEM coverage and security depth) is often needed. In response to these growing needs, Verve continues to increase our professional services offerings around the globe in support of our clients’ needs.
Growth in OT Cyber Security
The OT cyber security market is growing fast in terms of needs, understanding of requirements, awareness of obstacles and lack of resources. Verve Industrial continues to evolve its products, services and support reach. Through continued reinvestment in our client partners and into our own evolution, we continue to strive to be the best suited, most comprehensive partner as defined by our customers.
As 2020 unfolds, we will see just how far our combined (client, partner and Verve) abilities and opportunities will take us. I, for one, am excited to see what we can achieve together as this important practice of OT cyber security continues to evolve.
You may not know us yet. But give us a call, we'd be happy to share why we think our OT cyber security approach is truly unique. We may both learn something new from the conversation!