From the Wires
Waterfall Security Solutions Donation to Michigan Technological University
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 13, 2012 03:02 AM
NEW YORK, November 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Waterfall Security Solutions today announced a $234,000 cash and in-kind donation to Michigan Technological University, in support of Dr. Chee-Wooi Ten's research into the cyber-security of the North American power grid. In today's information age of cyber threats, cyber-warfare and the increased connectivity of mission critical environments, there are excellent reasons to be concerned about the cyber-security of the nation's critical infrastructure. Dr. Ten's research addresses these concerns and engages academic experts, industry experts and energy utilities in the effort to protect critical cyber assets.
At issue are electrical substations, which serve as intersections in the nation's power grid. Because they play such a key role in our nation's critical infrastructure, substations can be attractive targets for nation-state actors, cyber-terrorists, hacktivists, extortionists and a wide variety of other adversaries. Cyber-security professionals continue to express concerns about the security of power substations, in spite of power utilities' best efforts to secure these targets.
"This is an issue which utilities have security measures in place for," said Ten, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, "but an issue which has not been explored to the same degree as other security domains. If the substation network is compromised and loses its designated protection, the grid will be vulnerable. If hackers know what they are doing, that could result in cascading failure which can lead to a partial outage or a system-wide blackout."
In a perfect world, utilities could confidently use modern Internet Protocol communications to manage electronic control systems. Modern communications are faster and more effective than traditional serial communications. Modern communications have a significant disadvantage though: our adversaries are notoriously resourceful at breaking into these networks, even networks protected by firewalls and other security technologies.
Waterfall's Unidirectional Security Gateways are a secure alternative to conventional firewalls. The hardware-enforced gateways allow data from protected industrial systems to be integrated into higher-level Energy Management Systems and business networks without introducing the vulnerabilities which accompany conventional firewalls. The Unidirectional Gateway hardware provides absolute protection for the safety and reliability of critical instrumentation from online attacks originating on external networks.
Waterfall Security Solutions, an Israel-based company, has donated funds, hardware and software in support of Dr. Ten's efforts to develop a framework for securing electric substations. Lior Frenkel, the CEO and Co-Founder of Waterfall Security Solutions says about the donation "Dr. Ten's initiative is unique in North America. A systematic exploration of substation and more general power-grid cyber-security issues will benefit both asset owners and operators of electric utilities. We are pleased to be able to support this important project."
Ten is working with government agencies, power companies, and vendors which provide the products used to strengthen substation cyber-security. By collaborating with all of the key stakeholders, he aims to transform the energy industry to improve efficiency and reliability both in the power grid and in cyber-space. "No single vendor can do everything. It has to be synergistic," he said. "I think this will be a transformative effort."
Waterfall Security Solutions Ltd. is the leading provider of Unidirectional Security Gateways™ and data diodes for industrial control networks and critical infrastructures. Waterfall's Unidirectional Gateways reduce the cost and complexity of compliance with NERC-CIP, NRC, NIST, CFATS and other regulations, as well as with cyber-security best practices. Waterfall's products are deployed in utilities and critical national infrastructures throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Israel. Frost & Sullivan describe Waterfall's solutions as ensuring "optimum security for networks across user verticals" and awarded Waterfall the 2012 Network Security Award for Industrial Control Systems Entrepreneurial Company of the Year. Waterfall's offerings include support for leading industrial applications, including the OSIsoft PI™ Historian, the GE Proficy™ iHistorian, Siemens SIMATIC™/Spectrum™ solutions and GE OSM™ remote monitoring platforms, as well as OPC, Modbus, DNP3, ICCP and other industrial protocols. More information about Waterfall can be found on the company's website at: http://www.waterfall-security.com.
SOURCE Waterfall Security Solutions Ltd
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