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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on February 10, 2016

This week, the largest electric utility trade show and conference in the U.S., DistribuTECH, is being held. One of the tracks in the conference portion of the event is “Defending the Grid.” The prominence of the topic at this show is due in part to new NERC CIP requirements designed to strengthen reliability and security. Another reason grid protection is a hot topic is high-profile cyberattacks such as the recent one on the Ukraine power system.

It adds up to one thing – it’s time to review the state of cyber defenses at your transmission substations. What then is the right approach to secure substations? It starts with the best practice of Defense in Depth.

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Blog Category: Enterprise Networking

Posted by: Stéphane Bourgeois on February 05, 2016

In the past month, we’ve blogged about two universal truths regarding local area networks (LANs): they never stop transforming themselves and they continue to stretch across the enterprise. At last, we’re talking about the third and final universal truth: Networks never stop operating at higher speeds.

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Tags: LAN, Trends

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Blog Category: Enterprise Networking

Posted by: Mike Peterson on February 04, 2016

When it comes to thermal management in the data center, lack of action equals a waste of money. Every data center can improve thermal management practices in some way to reduce operating costs. Not every thermal management solution requires lots of cash, either – there are simple, cost-effective ways to improve the thermal performance of your data center. In this blog post, we focus on basic, low-cost data center enhancements that eliminate hotspots and improve thermal management without a lot of money or time invested.

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Tags: Thermal Management, Data Center

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Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on February 03, 2016

Rural India might not come to mind when you imagine a modern Smart Grid of Ethernet-based substations. However, that is just what was installed in 2015 in the Northern Indian province of Haryana.

Increasing demand for power from both urban and rural customers led the local utility company to extend the electric power system. It added five new substations and upgraded existing ones with a new Substation Automation System.

The utility partnered with a local systems integrator, Venson Electric, who provided a new substation control and protection system, including the communications network.

Let’s examine how Venson created a reliable network to relay critical information in a rugged environment with high traffic loads.

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Blog Category: Enterprise Networking

Posted by: Stéphane Bourgeois on January 29, 2016

Each winter, BICSI puts together an industry conference that expands information and communications technology professionals’ technical insight, networking base and familiarity with quality vendors. Learn 5 things you won't want to miss at the 2016 BICSI Winter Conference!

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Tags: BICSI

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Blog Category: Enterprise Networking

Posted by: Mike Peterson on January 28, 2016

With some manufacturers concerned about selling you on ideas the market has created – by developing solutions to problems that aren’t real, or repackaging products and saying they’re “new solutions” – it’s smart to formulate criteria to use when doing your due diligence.
Here are a few key things to look for when determining whether you’re working with a true data center contender or just a data center pretender …

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Tags: Data Center

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Heather MacKenzie on January 27, 2016

While there have been numerous high profile cyberattacks on industry over the past few years, their consequences have primarily been to steal information (Dragonfly, Flame, Duqu) or interrupt business operations (Shamoon). Stuxnet and the attack on the German steel mill were rare cases where a control system was disrupted as a result of a malware infection.

That is, up until the end of last year. On December 23, 2015 a significant power outage occurred in the Western area of Ukraine including the regional capital of Ivano-Frankivsk. Malware known as BlackEnergy was a component of the attack, though whether it was a causal element or not is still being investigated and discussed.

This may be a unique case where a hacking incident involving an industrial control system has affected ordinary citizens. As such, it is important to understand the Ukrainian incident and what it means for SCADA and ICS security. Let’s review the outage and see what lessons it provides for operators of critical infrastructure systems.

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Blog Category: Enterprise Networking

Posted by: Stéphane Bourgeois on January 22, 2016

As LANs continue to infiltrate enterprises, we now see networks stretch to support more than computers, storage and printers. Today’s enterprise networks still include computer systems, but now incorporate smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices that employees bring to the workplace. Networks have also stretched to not only accommodate employees and their devices, but also the users outside the enterprise (guests and customers) and their devices as well.

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Tags: LAN, Local Area Network

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