Missouri Public Utility Alliance deploys new cybersecurity tech

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) partnered with smart energy cybersecurity firm N-Dimension in a bid to secure its operations.

MPUA deployed the solution provider’s cybersecurity solution, N-Sentinel Monitoring, into its grid system to prevent its assets from being attacked by cyber-attacks.

In addition, the utility alliance is helping its 37 member utilities in deploying N-Dimension’s cybersecurity technology in their grid networks to ensure they operate in a reliable manner.

Altogether, MPUA has 117 municipally owned electric, natural gas, water, wastewater and broadband utility members in the state of Missouri.

The alliance is planning to have all its members use the N-Sentinel solution.

Cybersecurity and grid operational cost

In a press statement, MPUA said it has partnered with N-Dimension to modernise its grid system in a bid to ensure that it is secured from cyber attacks constantly affecting utilities networks in new ways.

The alliance will use the new cybersecurity technology to reduce costs of its insurance premium.

Insurance providers assess the nature of utilities cyber security portfolio to determine the cost of their insurance premiums, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.

Jason Peterson, director of IT and Broadband Services at Carthage Water and Electric Plant, said:  “We were unaware of some of the cybersecurity risks N-Sentinel Monitoring identified and guided us in fixing.”

Carthage Water and Electric Plant is a member of the MPUA.

Apart from helping MPUA protect its grid assets through quick identification of cyber attacks, the alliance will use the solution to manage annual financial transactions of over $400 million for its members, insurance providers and financial institutions.

For instance, the solution will be used to improve MPUA’s risk and cybersecurity rating by investment firms.

The risk and cybersecurity rating determine the amount of capital the alliance receives from investors to fund its power generation projects.

The functionality allows utilities to access grid security information on attacks which other utilities using the system would have witnessed and steps taken to combat the threats.


Image credit: www.cbronline.com.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.