Waterfall Security Solutions, a provider of critical infrastructure and industrial control systems security, has unveiled its Waterfall for bulk electric system (BES) control center solution.
This new solution leverages the unidirectional security gateways of Waterfall and provides two-way communications with BES control centers, including power grid balancing authorities and reliability coordinators.
Andrew Ginter, Waterfall’s vice president of industrial security said, “Balancing authorities and other control centers are in a bind. The paths through firewalls that allow data to move also allow systems to be attacked. A rigorous attack-tree analysis shows that our solution is much stronger than firewalls. The authorities deploying our solutions are more secure because they have found this alternative to firewalls.”
BES control centers are targets for cyber-sabotage attacks, according to the department of homeland security and other agencies. These control centers are vital for the operation of the power grid but have to be protected against cyber-threats.
As balancing authorities, reliability coordinators and other BES control centers have to get status information continuously via wide-area networks from partner utilities, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Although firewalls and other conventional IT-security mechanisms try to protect these network connections, sometimes they fail to do so.
To provide the necessary protection, the Waterfall solution uses hardware-enforced unidirectional gateways which replicate inter-control-center protocol (ICCP) communications endpoints in two directions. Deployed as two completely independent communications channels, the gateways replicate ICCP endpoints and do not forward packets like firewalls do.
The Waterfall gateways are better than firewalls and also the independent communications channels can eliminate remote-control attacks used by advanced attackers.
A major U.S.-based energy company picked the Waterfall technology to protect its control centers after a thorough evaluation and testing process, officials said.
Recently Waterfall Security Solutions announced four new integrations for its unidirectional security gateway solution. Waterfall’s unidirectional security gateways now support Oracle, Microsoft (News - Alert) SQL Server and MySQL databases, as well as the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to streamline secure IT and operations systems integration.