Hanover's Dragos looks to grow with a Houston office and an Atlanta acquisition - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Mar. 18, 2019 3:08 pm

Hanover’s Dragos looks to grow with a Houston office and an Atlanta acquisition

The company acquired Atlanta's NexDefense and is opening up free industrial cybersecurity tools.

Power lines.

(Photo by Flickr user Owen Viriyincy, used under a Creative Commons license)

Dragos has been growing in recent months, adding employees at its Hanover-based headquarters: Following November’s $37 million funding round, the company now has 110 employees.

With a pair of recent moves, the company that makes a cybersecurity platform to protect the industrial control systems behind water, power and other critical infrastructure is also looking beyond the state to grow.

On Monday, the company said it acquired NexDefense, an Atlanta-based company that makes technology to provide visibility for securing industrial control systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NexDefense worked to develop technology initially developed inside the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory under the name “Sophia.” The company gained the rights to commercialize the technology in 2013 and worked to make improvements and rebrand it as Integrity, according to Dragos. The product provides passive monitoring of a network.

Going forward, Dragos is making Integrity available as part of a new offering called Dragos Community Tools. In this free product, Integrity will be available alongside an assessment tool developed by Dragos team members called CyberLens. Several team members focused on engineering from NexDefense’s small team are also joining Dragos.

“With the acquisition of NexDefense, we can provide a free asset identification tool specifically for operators looking to start with situational awareness and enable continuous asset monitoring capabilities, thereby helping move our entire community closer to the next level of maturity in security against cyber threats,” Dragos CEO Robert M. Lee said in a statement.

Dragos is also making a move into Texas as it stands up a new office in Houston. The company said Houston offers a central location for its employees and training in the region. The city is also a center for energy and manufacturing, which are two areas where Dragos sees a growing need to protect industrial systems. Initially, the office will have 10 employees, with plans to invest as the needs of the market grow.

Dragos was founded in 2016 and was among the initial companies founded by former government and intelligence community technologists to receive early backing from Fulton-based DataTribe.

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