- By Bill Lydon
- September 29, 2021
With a focus on visibility, the company’s cyber detection software resides on embedded computer platforms named "Sabers" that function as “software sensors” monitoring cybersecurity activity.
July 2021 SynSaber announced its company launch to deliver industrial cybersecurity from edge to enterprise with $2.5 million in seed funding from SYN Ventures, Rally Ventures and Cyber Mentor Fund. The foundation of the company’s offering is compact code footprint edge cyber detection software designed to reside on embedded computer platforms they have named Sabers that function as, “software sensors” monitoring for cyber security activity.
Typical target hardware platforms for Sabers are small form factor embedded computing platforms deployable in numerous ways including on ultra-small DIN rail-sized hardware. The operating environment is x86 hardware deployed in Linux containers with Fabela noting, “We can always pivot to ARM architecture chips because the libraries we’re using are flexible.” The small software footprint is designed to coexist in other compute modules at the edge and incorporated into OEM equipment including PLCs and process controllers.
The Chandler, Arizona-based company was founded by Jori VanAntwerp, who serves as the company’s CEO, and Ron Fabela, its CTO. VanAntwerp previously worked at industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos, CrowdStrike, McAfee and FireEye. Fabela previously worked at Gravwell and Dragos, as well as several other major companies.
In a discussion with VanAntwerp and Fabela about the company’s offerings, particularly at the operational technology (OT) edge, Fabela stated, “From substations to switchyards, pipelines and power plants, they all need full OT visibility in order to operate securely. Current solutions focus on the data centers and completely miss critical data at the edge.”
“We’re shining a light where others cannot: true visibility at the edge that is purpose-built for industrial. Small enough to perform in every operational situation, allowing for full security telemetry for the first time,” said Fabela.
Asked where SynSaber fits functionally, Fabela stated, “Definitely detection not protection. I think protection at this point is going to be spearheaded by the big vendors.” He emphasized SynSaber focuses is on visibility—collecting the data—and user flexibility, which means openly making data available to any system including enterprise, on-premises and off-premises systems. Asked what distinguishes SynSaber from the others, Fabela stated, “Flexibility. And not forcing people into a single pane of glass.”
SynSaber aggregates and curates cybersecurity data that can be used by whatever visibility and monitoring solutions the user prefers. The company focus is on asset and network monitoring solutions to defend critical infrastructure. Sabers can be put anywhere in the operating environment and send data to any collection point to provide 100% visibility in an Industrial Control System (ICS) environment and flexibility to support existing cybersecurity investments.
SynSaber’s goal is providing operators and security experts information enabling them to see, know and take action to defend industrial systems and protect critical infrastructure. VanAntwerp emphasized, “SynSaber plans to empower industrial operators rather than overwhelming them, making great operators even better." Users place sensors anywhere to uncover blind spots and get near real-time visibility. SynSaber aggregates and fuses data from any source and make it available throughout the enterprise.
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