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DNV acquires Applied Risk, develops industrial cybersecurity expertise

By Catherine Knowles, Thu 25 Nov 2021

DNV has announced it will acquire industrial cybersecurity specialist Applied Risk.

The two companies will join forces with the aim to build the world’s largest industrial cybersecurity practice, defending critical infrastructure against emergent cyber threats, DNV wrote in a statement.

Threats to industrial cybersecurity are becoming more common. 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, DNV states.

Recovery from an attack can cost organisations hundreds of millions of dollars and companies 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 weaponise industrial control systems to cause harm to human life.

Furthermore, according to Forrester Research, 63% of organisations within industrial sectors said the safety of their employees was highly or critically impacted by cybersecurity breaches.

Established in 2012, Applied Risk specialises in next generation cybersecurity solutions for industrial sectors.

The company's team of engineering and cybersecurity professionals are headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The team has contributed to industry standards and led the development of security strategies for national governments.

Applied Risk works with a broad client portfolio to advance capabilities in industries including energy, maritime, pharmaceuticals, transport, mining, utilities and manufacturing.

Following the acquisition, Applied Risk's experts will join forces with DNVs cybersecurity specialists, who work with governments, corporations and industrial operators to keep projects and operations secure.

DNV provides cybersecurity expertise for complex infrastructure projects, with a focus on helping customers identify their cyber risks, build a defence against threats, recover from attacks and win stakeholder trust and support.

Applied Risk and DNV will operate together under the DNV brand. A combined leadership team from both companies will be tasked with scaling a merged cybersecurity business with ambitions for significant growth by the end of 2025.

DNV group president and CEO Remi Eriksen says, “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.

"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 cybersecurity powerhouse to support our customers in managing these emerging risks."

Applied Risk CEO Jalal Bouhdada says, "DNV and Applied Risk share a common vision of safeguarding industrial assets from the growing volume and complexity of cyber attacks.

"This partnership brings together two highly respected organisations in industrial assurance and cybersecurity solutions.

"We will combine the strengths of Applied Risk and DNV with significant investments in security research and innovation to build and grow a cutting-edge industrial cybersecurity business that helps our customers outpace new threats posed by cyber criminals."

Liv Hovem, CEO of DNVs Accelerator, a new business area dedicated to rapidly growing new DNV businesses, services and solutions, also commented on the announcement.

She says, “Cybersecurity will play an important role in DNVs growth story in the coming years. Bringing together Applied Risk and DNV's impressive teams of industrial cybersecurity experts is the first step in our plan to build a cybersecurity powerhouse through acquisitions and partnerships with top-tier cybersecurity firms around the world.

"We will also welcome more talent into the business as we grow, offering the opportunity to work on some of the world's most advanced and complex cybersecurity projects alongside DNV's global team of nearly 12,000 industrial domain experts."

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