• Bill Moore, founder of Xona Systems, hears the announcement that the judges in AFCEA International’s Innovation Shark Tank Series have selected Xona as a finalist. The company offers cybersecurity measures for so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices. Credit: Elizabeth Moon
     Bill Moore, founder of Xona Systems, hears the announcement that the judges in AFCEA International’s Innovation Shark Tank Series have selected Xona as a finalist. The company offers cybersecurity measures for so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices. Credit: Elizabeth Moon
  • AFCEA International’s Innovation Shark Tank Series offers entrepreneurs and small businesses an opportunity to get advice and input from industry experts serving as judges in the competition. Pictured are the participants and judges from AFCEA’s November 19 event. Credit: Elizabeth Moon
     AFCEA International’s Innovation Shark Tank Series offers entrepreneurs and small businesses an opportunity to get advice and input from industry experts serving as judges in the competition. Pictured are the participants and judges from AFCEA’s November 19 event. Credit: Elizabeth Moon

AFCEA Shark Tank Chooses Company Specializing in Industrial IoT Device Security

Novermber 20, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
E-mail About the Author

The latest round of the association’s innovation competition selects Xona Systems’ cyber security solutions for critical infrastructure.


Broadcast on CyberSecurity TV by TV Worldwide, the latest episode of AFCEA’s Innovation Shark Tank Series on November 19 featured five companies offering government solutions addressing cybersecurity, the STEM workforce, cloud migration, security of Industrial Internet of Things devices and mobile application development.

The companies were competing for selection to the association’s Shark Tank finals to be held April 22-24, 2019, at its planned joint homeland security conference with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.

The participants who presented their products or solutions to the five judges included: David Kriegman, CEO, Z2B LLC; Elvis Oxley, president and founder, Oxley Consulting LLC; Heather Price, industry influencer with a diverse consulting portfolio across the Pentagon; Rob Stewart, managing director and CEO, Federal Government Experts LLC; and Justin Wilder, vice president and technical lead, In-Q-Tel.

The event gives entrepreneurs and small businesses an opportunity to get advice from the experts and gain visibility of their company’s capabilities through the web broadcast. "AFCEA’s Innovation Shark Tank continues to gain momentum," said AFCEA's Katie Helwig, director, Corporate Development. "It’s a corporate member benefit that provides a platform for a company to tell their story and receive valuable feedback from subject matter experts and to increase visibility. AFCEA strives for expanding the offerings for that ethical exchange of information."

Eric Teasdale, federal sales director, Illumio, presented information on the company’s software-based on-premise cybersecurity solution that "illuminates" data center and network connections, builds a real-time traffic map and provides a zero-trust solution for connectivity.

INCAtech Vice President of Corporate Development Bruce Freedman offered a solution to expand minority STEM talent to address the shortfall in STEM workers. Known as the STEM 2030 Exchange, the product is a clearinghouse of STEM-related information for students, academia, industry and the government.

OM Group’s Mahesh Srinivasan, chief technology officer and chief architect, described the company’s product that is being piloted by the Army to enhance cloud migration and accreditation activities.

Bill Moore, CEO of Xona Systems, introduced its platform for industrial control systems.

Tom Suder, president and founder, Apcerto, offered that Apcerto’s solution aims to enable the government’s production of mobile applications at scale with full cybersecurity measures, which will help the government realize the potential for mobile. The mobile security application solution is based on a Bayesian algorithm that began as a DISA-funded project with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, he said.

The judges selected Annapolis-based Xona Systems as a finalist. Moore offered that the company’s products would enhance the cybersecurity of so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices."Our nation’s critical infrastructure is at risk," Moore said. "Industrial control systems are converging with [IT] information technology at a breakneck pace, creating billions of IIoT." He expects that over the next five years, there will be 10 billion IIoT devices, which will create a "massive cybersecurity problem" when the unprotected, antiquated systems at industrial sites connect with the Internet.

Founded in 2017, Xona Systems is offering two products to address the cybersecurity gap of IIoT devices. Moore touts one of the products as the world’s first zero trust platform for the IIoT, which provides protection extending from end points to applications. The product is currently being used to protect supervisory control and data acquisition systems—known as SCADA devices—in the oil and gas industry and at electric power and water utilities.

Xona Systems is moving on to the finals to compete with up to seven other finalists at the DHS/AFCEA event next spring.

Information of all the participants’ solutions can be found on the archived webcast. The site also provides a link to the previous Shark Tank rounds.

AFCEA will host another Shark Tank competition on December 7 with seven additional companies.

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