February 26, 2024
February 26, 2024

From the Front Lines: “Is it easy to use?”

From the Front Lines: “Is it easy to use?”

I have a secret to share with you. Sometimes, product companies…uh…exaggerate their capabilities. 

The people reading this blog know this all too well, having sat in rooms with vendors that promised the world, only to discover when the trial started that they would have to be happy with standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. 

I am not going to tell you that BlastWave is perfect. We are competing in the cybersecurity market, where one word can have more meanings than Webster’s can keep up with. However, there is one area of our product that we have struggled to find the words to explain well, and part of the reason is that everyone says it, but very few vendors deliver on it.

Our product is easy to use.

In the security market, easy-to-use products are a bit like the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat - exceedingly rare. The biggest reason for this is that most products try to do too much for too broad of a market. Trying to do too much is a common problem in networking products, with “God Boxes” being the goal of many startups since the early days. “It Slices, it Dices, It Juliennes!” was the refrain many engineers who grew up hearing that commercial on their TV, and they tried to emulate that with their products. Heck, I have worked for some of those companies. But at BlastWave, we want to “know our audience” and optimize the solution to meet the needs of our customers, not all customers. 

Focusing on simplicity is critical for our customers. OT security staff are even more stressed than IT security teams because OT security is often an additional duty. In public utilities, for example, the overall staffing levels are low, and OT security is either an additional duty for the IT team or it is an additional duty for one of the facilities managers. If it isn’t simple, it might get done wrong. So, we designed BlastShield with some critical tenets to keep it simple.

We designed for OT environments, not IT.

IT products are designed to “let x have access to this, let y have access to this, don’t let z have any access to this, and so on.” So many users, so many devices, and so many rules. It is no wonder that misconfigurations are a major problem in the IT security industry.

OT can be a bit simpler. “Let these devices talk to their controller, and let only this user group access them” is a more common rule example for OT networks. The list of who needs access is much smaller, but the list of things people need access to is often much larger.

We grant access ONLY to identities, not traffic or networks.

Permitting access to Vince Zappula is easier than a policy permitting access from these four devices, these three networks, or these credentials (i.e., username/password). Allowing access to “All Cameras” is easier than permitting access to a long list of IP addresses. 

Your identity is biometrics.

In the movie Sneakers, the engineer gained access to his lab by saying, “My voice is my passport; verify me.” Just as the hackers faked that in the movie, credentials are being stolen and faked every day on the Internet. BlastWave uses the same biometric mechanism as Apple Pay, something both familiar and trusted to users and far harder to steal than passwords in the era of GenAI.

But don’t believe me, believe our customers:

“It is a miracle that you were able to move from start to finish in less than 60 days.”

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to install. We configured 97 devices into 95 individual segments in four hours.

We would love the opportunity to show you how easy our product is to use. Sign up to get a demo and a trial, and you can judge for yourself.

OT Secure Remote Access
Network Cloaking
Network Segmentation

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