Photo: DNV

DNV acquires Applied Risk to build cyber security powerhouse

Norway-based classification society DNV has decided to acquire Dutch cyber security specialist Applied Risk in an effort to create an industrial security powerhouse.

As informed, the two companies aim to build the world’s largest industrial cyber security practice to safeguard critical infrastructure in energy, maritime, manufacturing, chemicals, healthcare and other sectors.

“Industrial assets such as windfarms, oil and gas infrastructure, ships, manufacturing facilities and medical equipment, are now at higher risk of new forms of cyber-attack as their control systems become increasingly connected. Life, property and the environment are at stake,” Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO, DNV, commented.

“DNV is making significant investment in helping our customers build a powerful force of defence. By joining forces with Applied Risk, we aim to build an industrial cyber security powerhouse to support our customers in managing these emerging risks.”

Threats to industrial cyber security are becoming more common, complex and creative. In 2020, nine in ten companies in the manufacturing, energy and utilities, healthcare and transportation sectors suffered an attack on the computing systems managing their industrial operations.

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Recent attacks in the maritime sector include those on CMA CGM, Transnet, HMM, Hurtigruten, IMO.

Recovery from an attack can cost organizations hundreds of millions of dollars and companies face are facing increasing pressure to comply with tighter regulation.

Attacks are also becoming increasingly dangerous: Gartner forecasts that cyber criminals will go beyond making attacks for financial gain this decade, and progressively weaponize industrial control systems to cause harm to human life. According to Forrester Research, 63% of organizations within industrial sectors said the safety of their employees was highly or critically impacted by cyber security breaches.

A combined force of defence

Established in 2012, Applied Risk is a thought leader in next-generation cyber security solutions for industrial sectors.

Applied Risk’s experts will join forces with DNV’s cyber security specialists, who work with governments, corporations, and industrial operators to keep projects and operations secure. DNV provides real-world cyber security expertise to some of the world’s most complex infrastructure projects.

“DNV and Applied Risk share a common vision of safeguarding industrial assets from the growing volume and complexity of cyber-attacks… We will combine the strengths of Applied Risk and DNV with significant investments in security research and innovation to build and grow … industrial cyber security business that helps our customers outpace new threats posed by cyber criminals,” Jalal Bouhdada, CEO, Applied Risk, commented.

The duo will operate together under the DNV brand. A combined leadership team from both companies will be tasked with scaling a merged cyber security business with ambitions for significant growth by the end of 2025.

“Cyber security will play an important role in DNV’s growth story in the coming years,” Liv Hovem, CEO of DNV’s Accelerator, a new business area dedicated to rapidly growing new DNV businesses, services and solutions, said.

“Bringing together Applied Risk and DNV’s … teams of industrial cyber security experts is the first step in our plan to build a cyber security powerhouse through acquisitions and partnerships with top-tier cyber security firms around the world.”