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Dealing with the complexities of substation cyber security

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, April 23, 2012

As more utilities begin to integrate the functionality of traditional substation devices with the standard NERC CIP-007, many are running into a number of uncertainties regarding how to effectively manage substation cyber security solutions.

However, SUBNET has detailed how one top 10 Fortune 500 electrical utility assessed and addressed the substantial complexities of managing substation device passwords.

The complexities came about after recent regulatory requirements in the U.S. met with the highly intelligent smart grid, which have created the need for better substation data communications security. For example, one of the biggest utilities in North America had to develop a comprehensive security solution for providing and controlling access to IEDs that had been installed on its substation.

The company used SUBNET's software to standardize the deployment of a proposed solution throughout four of its electric utility companies. The utility faced many challenges in the rollout, but with the help of SUBNET, it was able to create a solution and determine the future benefits of that solution.

SUBNET's My Passwords software module was developed to help utilities manage thousands of IED passwords located across all of its substations. By using automated password management, utility personnel are better able to focus on their job, leading to better operation, management and maintenance of utility assets, as workers will not have to worry about how to gain access to IEDs.

With SUBNET's software, all of this access is performed securely, ensuring that cyber assets are kept safe while complying with strict legislative NERC CIP standards.

SUBNET's "Complexities of Substation Cyber Security" webinar helps utilities with several aspects of securing substation data. The webinar deals with the risks incurred when managing device passwords is performed manually, and discusses the factors to consider when integrating automated password management.

Also covered are the considerations to take when automating password management solutions across multi-vendor devices and how to handle devices that do not allow for automated password management. The webinar touches on how to minimize the requirement for manual password administration, as well as how to ensure access passwords are complex to a reasonable extent and changed regularly.

To learn more, come to the IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition in Orlando, Florida May 7-10, 2012, and stop by SUBNET's booth #1763 for the latest in substation automation technology.

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The Complexities of Substation Cyber Security

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