Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Collaboration helps Taipower secure smart-grid demonstration

Steve Rogerson
July 14, 2015
 
A coming together of public and private brainpower has helped Taiwan Power (Taipower) find a secure way to provide real-time information from its power plant to its smart grid demonstration project at the demo site in Penghu Island, Taiwan.
 
The Taiwan government’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) worked with Taipower, local security and consulting company ISecurity, and New York-based Waterfall Security to connect safely the power plant control system network to the smart grid.
 
Waterfall Security, which specialises in protection and security for critical infrastructure and industrial control systems, provided the technology, including stronger-than-firewalls, hardware-enforced unidirectional security gateways. These create a real-time copy of a control system on the corporate network, so that smart grid operators and applications can have real-time access to the very latest information, logs, reports and other control system data. They do this without any risk of a network attack originating from the internet.
 
"The growing sophistication of cyber attacks poses a serious risk to utility providers, threatening the safety and reliability of critical infrastructure and sometimes even the lives of workers at industrial sites," said Waterfall Security CEO and co-founder Lior Frenkel. "The recent installation in Taiwan is just the latest example of an energy provider being serious about the protection of its control system and scada networks, without compromising the need to provide business-critical information to the business as a whole."
 
Julian Su, president of ISecurity, added: "We are satisfied that the recent installation of Waterfall's unidirectional security gateways has made a significant impact to the smart grid's operations. Users feel more confident within their daily operations, knowing that their working environment is now safe and reliable."
 
Waterfall's products are deployed in utilities and critical national infrastructures throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Israel. Its technologies can reduce the cost and complexity of compliance with NERC-CIP, NRC, NIST, CFATS and other regulations, and include support for industrial applications, including the OSIsoft PI Historian, GE Proficy iHistorian, Siemens Simatic and Spectrum, and GE OSM remote monitoring platforms, as well as OPC, Modbus, DNP3, ICCP and other industrial protocols.
 
ISecurity was founded to provide security and consulting services to Asia Pacific's finance, high-tech, telecommunications, e-commerce and government sectors. Started in 2004, it is the local distributor for a number of IT security vendors, such as Avecto, Black Duck, Comodo, Digital Guardian, HP, McAfee, SSH, Veracode and Waterfall.
 
The ITRI is a non-profit R&D organisation engaging in applied research and technical services. Founded in 1973, it has played a vital role in Taiwan's economic growth as it shifted from a labour-intensive industry into a value-added, technology-driven one.