Cybersecurity

In the US, Vermont Electric Cooperative partnered with managed security service provider N-Dimension to deploy the company's cybersecurity solution.In a combined statement, Vermont Electric Cooperative said it installed N-Dimension's cybersecurity platform to identify and avoid cybersecurity risks on its internal network.

Benefits and rollout of cybersecurity platform

The solution provider claims its cybersecurity solution will provide the utility's IT department with alerts in the event of a cyber attack, as well as provide insights on affected systems and the level of damage.

The decision by Vermont Electric Cooperative to deploy the cybersecurity platform follows a successful 6-month trial of the system. The utility tested N-Dimension's cybersecurity platform under a project managed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) through its subsidy Cooperative Research Network (CRN).

The CRN focused on helping member utility firms of NRECA install technologies to monitor their networks against cyber crimes.

During the trial, Vermont Electric Cooperative identified activities which are against the company's IT policies such as the use of external web services to resolve IP addresses, vulnerable and outdated java versions and accessing of intranet sites using clear-text passwords.

Fred Wiseman, IT specialist at Vermont Electric Cooperative, said: “We have a perimeter firewall and intrusion protection system but it only monitors traffic coming in and going out of our network – not what’s going on inside of it.

“N-Sentinel Monitoring provides us with visibility into suspicious activities and provides the information we need to be proactive. It’s a solution every utility should consider. It’s easily installed, cost-effective and is like having a cybersecurity expert on staff.”

The energy distributor said it is confident the cybersecurity platform will help in its mission to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to its 32,000 members.

Tom Ayers, CEO of N-Dimension, added:“Ongoing cyber threat vigilance of traffic inside the utility’s IT network is essential as risks can often bypass perimeter security devices.”

In other news from Vermont state, the Morrisville Water and Light has in late February filed its grid expansion plan with the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority.

The smart grid proposal includes projects which the utility plans to implement to improve the reliability of its grid network against its growing customer base. Read more...