Thales develops low-cost encryption module for SCADA protection

Announces at DistribuTECH exhibition in San Diego development of new state-of-the-art, low-cost security improvement module for protection of legacy supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks that perform key functions for essential services such as electricity, natural gas, and water to the public. Originally designed with little or no security, such networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks resulting in public safety concerns and serious disruptions to the nation's economy...

WESTON, FL, Jan. 25, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Thales announced at the DistribuTECH exhibition in San Diego the development of its new state-of-the-art low-cost security improvement module for the protection of legacy Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks. SCADA networks perform key functions that deliver essential services and commodities such as electricity, natural gas, and water to the public at large. Originally designed with little or no security, SCADA networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks that can result in public safety concerns and serious disruptions to the nation's economy. As a component of the critical infrastructure, protection of SCADA networks has gained increased attention as part of overall homeland security initiatives put in place after Sept. 11, 2001.

Following the tradition of Thales' flagship information assurance product line, the new encryption module will be marketed under the Datacryptor® brand name. The unit will provide the utility industry with a cost-effective solution for the protection of its SCADA networks. Designed to meet emerging industry regulations and standards such as those being published by the American Gas Association (AGA) and the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC), the product will provide a solution employing strong National Institute of Standards approved cryptography for encryption and authentication of SCADA communications, and authentication of service personnel. Supporting point-to-point, multi-drop, and mixed-modes (secured and non-secured) network configurations using serial asynchronous communication, the product will be deployable in a variety of operational scenarios. Compatible with the industry's standard communications protocols such as MODBUS and DNP, the unit is being designed to protect both SCADA communications and maintenance ports of vulnerable Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) used in these networks.

"The new product offering will firmly place Thales as an industry leader in the growing critical infrastructure protection market. As the control systems that manage vital resources such as power, gas, oil, and water have come under scrutiny over the vulnerabilities that these are exposed to, the new product will provide cost-effective security to these systems," said Cindy Provin, President of the e-Security activities of Thales in the Americas.

The new product is scheduled to be unveiled in May at the UTC Telecom Conference in Long Beach, California.

About Thales
Thales (www.thalesec.com) is an international electronics and systems group, serving Defense, Aerospace, Security and Services markets. The group employs 61,500 people and generated revenues of $13 billion in 2003. Operating in three main markets covering e-security, card payment, and network security, Thales' e-Security activity addresses the business, government, and finance industries' need for cryptographic security products and solutions. Over half of the world's banks, together with the majority of the busiest exchanges, currently use Thales technology.

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