Our opinions on Davos 2019

The theme of the 2019 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum [WEF], colloquially known as Davos 2019, was “Globalization 4.0.”

Topics such as Industry 4.0 (or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” [4IR]), Cyber-Security and Artificial Intelligence & Automation played a big part of the conversation at Davos this year. These are topics which are at the very core of our business at Awen Collective, and so we felt compelled to talk about these particular WEF discussions.

Industry 4.0

The article on “4 myths about manufacturing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” is a good discussion on industry 4.0 technologies, and highlights that they are a good option for upgrading the factory floor to become more cost effective. It touches on the worries over replacing human workers with robotics. It discusses the need for thinking about business sustainability. It also discusses that industry 4.0 technologies are not just for large organisations, but can also be taken up by Small & Medium sized Enterprises [SMEs]. The associated whitepaper is also an interesting read (PDF).

While this is great - and detailing the uptake of industry 4.0 technologies is something that we applaud -  the article fails to mention that a combination of old and new technologies, and the convergence of information technologies [IT] and operations technologies [OT] can increase vulnerabilities. Often the risk associated with these vulnerabilities will need to be managed and mitigated by different teams within an organisation, and for all levels of an organisation, from factory floor workers through to board level directors. Awen Collective can assist with asset and risk discovery through Dot, which specifically supports industrial networks – regardless of whether the network of assets are old or new, IT or OT. At Awen Collective, we want old and new, IT and OT, to be connected - it leads to great insights and increased efficiency - but we want it to be done in a way that is secure and safe.

Cyber-Security

We are pleased to hear that among the top 3 priorities for CEOs in 2019 is cyber-security. This isn’t just because of the privacy and data protection requirements in Europe (from the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]), but is also because of the increase in publicised cyber-attacks which disrupt business continuity. One of the articles conclusions is that for business owners, there is a “near certainty of a cyber attack on their business”, which combined with other challenges will “stretch them more than any previous generation of business leaders.” At Awen Collective, we delight in hearing that board level executives are knowledgeable of the problem and are actively seeking solutions to mitigate their cyber-vulnerabilities. We work with all levels of an organisation to ensure that cyber-security policies are in place, and that an organisation is ready for incident response and digital forensics.

Ken Xie, of Fortinet, highlights to the WEF, the need for more cyber-security professionals and for increasing their skill capabilities to match the increase in cyber-threats. He suggests potential paths to take to ensure that the gap is filled. This is certainly a worry of every organisation within cyber-security, and we thank Ken for raising this issue at Davos.

Awen Collective is based in just north of Cardiff in South Wales. We have great access to graduates and staff of high quality cyber-security and digital forensics departments from the University of South Wales and Cardiff University. We are also not too far from Swansea University who are making great leaps in researching and commercialising the interdisciplinary aspects of computer science and law. Also, South Wales cyber-cluster is one of the strongest cyber-security clusters in the United Kingdom, and is well-known across Europe. The cluster has a great relationship with academia and industry, public and private sector – with particular geographical closeness to large organisations in aerospace, defence and the intelligence services. With such good access to talent - we are very well placed, for the foreseeable future, to provide good quality digital forensics & incident response software and services to the entire world.

 Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is an interesting one, because it is increasingly powering technologies relevant to us, including robotics in assembly lines and predictive maintenance. It also includes the subject of data mining, which is one component of a future product of ours.

Davos 2019 has two particular AI related threads which are interesting to us:

 In conclusion

Globalisation 4.0 is a great theme. Even as an SME we are international-focused. To repurpose some of the points of the WEF article on “what the world thinks of Globalization 4.0”: We strongly believe that we need collaborate with other organisations (large, small, clients, partners, competitors, governments). We see ourselves as offering one part (a subset of solutions) in a larger puzzle (the problem of cyber-security in critical infrastructure & manufacturing). We believe that we have an internationalised solution to a global problem, and so international cooperation is not just beneficial but essential – we are doing it in the UK, we’re getting traction in the EU and we are working with potential partners internationally.

Contact us now if you would like to collaborate to solve a problem with Digital Forensics & Incident Response within industrial organisations such as critical infrastructures or manufacturing.

Awen Kicks Off 2019!

Happy New Year! The Awen Collective team have been very busy since the start of 2019, including the release of Profile, our compliance checking tool for the NIS Directive, and the announcement of our next exciting product, Dot. Dot is an asset and risk discovery tool, build specifically for OT systems - directly addressing the challenges faced by operators of ICS networks and devices.

We took both Profile and Dot along with us to speak to some wonderful delegates from across Europe at the CEE Cyber Showcase in Vienna, to great reception. We’d like to thank everyone who came to listen to our presentations on Cyber Security and Incident Response in Critical National Infrastructure, and Asset Discovery and Incident Response Planning in Critical National Infrastructure, and those who visited our stand for a chat. Thank you also to Miles and the team at the Department for International Trade Austria, and their colleagues across Europe for running a very successful event.

We also had an article published in Information Age, with our CEO, Daniel, discussing how cyber-protection is evolving to meet NIS requirement in the utility sector.

We have many other exciting things on the horizon for Awen Collective - we’re looking forward to sharing more information soon!

As usual, if you would like contact us about any of our Products, Services or have any general queries about Digital Forensics & Incident Response then please do contact us now.

CEO, Daniel Lewis at CEE Cyber Showcase in Vienna - January 2019.

CEO, Daniel Lewis at CEE Cyber Showcase in Vienna - January 2019.

Nadolig Llawen

We have recently moved office to Welsh ICE in Caerphilly and are enjoying the new space and community.

With the launch of the closed beta testing of the Profile tool it is time for a brief update!

Profile is our Cyber Assessment Framework (“CAF”) testing tool which ensures critical infrastructure operators are compliant to the EU Network & Information Systems Directive on Security (“NIS Directive”). The tool has been in development for several months and has gone through various iterations and we have launched the closed beta.

With recent successes on various projects including a paid Proof-of-Concept, more projects due to start the in the new year and an expanding team, we look forward to the months ahead. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Awen Collective!

Awen Website 2.0

Welcome to our new-look website! This exciting redesign comes hot on the heels of a rapid period of growth for Awen, bringing four new employees into the Collective, who have all hit the ground running and are busy developing the next generation of digital forensics tools.

We’ve recently been working alongside the best in the industry within the defense and water sectors - including hosting a cyber security event bringing together cyber-experts from the public and private sectors to discuss the challenges faced by the water industry. We’ll be hosting further events for other sectors in the coming months, including energy, oil and gas, and transport. If you’d like to be informed of our upcoming events, please be sure to join our mailing list at the bottom of the page.

Today we are also delighted to be featured as an ESTnet Member of the Month of November 2018. We continue to be recognised by industry specialists on the international stage, and welcome the excellent opportunities open to us through our network.

We’re very excited for the future of Awen Collective - if you’d like to join us, be that as a client, partner, investor or future employee, feel free to reach out at hello@awencollective.com, we’d love to hear from you.