Water security perimeter helps thwart cyber threats at major utilities system

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RIDGEFIELD, CT, Feb. 21, 2014 -- A major U.S. water utilities system recently selected Owl Computing Technologies, Inc., a network security solutions provider, for the deployment of an electronic security perimeter to mitigate external cyber vulnerabilities.

The water utilities system is one of the largest water service providers in the southeastern United States, serving over 800,000 customers. To assess risk, the utility conducted tests to identify the components of their utilities -- pumps, generators and SCADA system -- that would be vulnerable to external cyber threats.

The result was the isolation of a control network that included a pumping station operating at an average of 65,000,000 million gallons per day. This isolation mitigated cyber-attack vulnerabilities but created operational inefficiencies due to the elimination of plant operating data being made available to key personnel on the corporate network.

Accordingly, the utility recognized its valuable role as one of sixteen critical infrastructure industries identified in Presidential Policy Directive 21: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience. The water utility also wanted to operate efficiently and sought a solution that would protect the plant operating network and provide an efficient way for control system data to be shared with the corporate network.

The utility deployed Owl's DualDiode Technology® with the Owl Secure Network Transfer System (SNTS), which enabled information to flow from the control network to the corporate network while mitigating any cyber-attack on the control network. The system was able to restore the operational reporting efficiencies that existed prior to the control network isolation, and DualDiode allowed the secure transfer of historian reports across the electronic security perimeter. This eliminated the bottleneck associated with manually moving the reports on mobile media or "sneaker net".

Additionally, the water utility implemented Owl's Virtualscreen View Service (OV2S) application software to provide real-time images to key personnel on the corporate network that enabled the secure monitoring of computer platforms within the control network. The Owl solution enabled engineering resources to have 24/7 access to the Wonderware HMI from remote locations, making monitoring easier of instruments and controls, increasing productivity, and adding an additional layer of critical support.

See also:

"High-Tech Threats: Top Cybersecurity Issues Facing Water Utility Control Systems"

"AWWA guidance helps improve water security in light of cyber attacks"

About Owl Computing Technologies, Inc.

Owl Computing Technologies is the leading source for next generation network security. Owl's DualDiode Technology®, a proprietary data diode, has been successfully deployed in over 1500 solutions across government, military and critical infrastructure networks. Owl's hardware-enforced technology enables secure, reliable and robust information sharing for all files sizes and data types. For more information, visit www.owlcti.com.

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