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Thales Unveils SCADA Security

Thales unveiled new functionality for its pioneering Datacryptor Select Application (SA) SCADA security solution introduced last year

LONDON -- At the UTC Telecom Conference 2006 today, Thales unveiled new functionality for its pioneering Datacryptor(r) Select Application (SA) SCADA security solution introduced last year. The Datacryptor SA now supports the DNP3 protocol widely used by many electric utilities.

Datacryptor SA provides a complete cost-effective security solution that can be easily deployed across existing SCADA networks vulnerable to cyber attack. By combining easy to use automatic key management with strong NIST-approved cryptography for authentication and encryption of SCADA connections and maintenance port access, the Datacryptor SA provides unparalleled security performance with minimal impact to operations. Remote maintenance ports on RTU and IED devices are often extremely vulnerable to cyber attack because they are accessible via unsecured dial-up or wireless links and may use default or widely known passwords for access. The Datacryptor SA is designed to provide a highly secure "gate keeper" function to protect maintenance port access as well as secure the authenticity of SCADA messages between Master and Remote.

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 in times where security concerns were less prevalent, 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, SCADA systems still remain largely unprotected against cyber attacks and present a liability to many system owners.

Datacryptor SA provides SCADA system owners in the utility sector with a cost effective means of addressing cyber security threats in their remote access capabilities and communication networks in order to help prevent potential service disruptions or catastrophic events.

Thales offers a simple, yet complete solution addressing fundamentally important authentication, user-access control, user audit logging, and certificate management requirements necessary for the operation of a secure system. In addition to robust authentication and encryption, Thales provides the utility customer with all the necessary tools and accessories to easily deploy a management system to control the commissioning of devices and issuance of access control tokens. Supporting point-to-point, multi-drop, and mixed-mode (secured and non-secured communications sharing a multi-drop line) network configurations using serial asynchronous communication, the Datacryptor SA solution can be deployed in a variety of operational scenarios compatible with industry-standard communications protocols such as MODBUS RTU and now DNP3.

James Kilazoglou, Managing Director of Thales e-Security, said: "As one of the most widely deployed SCADA communications protocols in the electrical utility industry, unsecured DNP3 networks are vulnerable to cyber attacks that can cause severe disruptions to the Nation's power distribution and have incalculable effects on the economy. The Datacryptor SA support for DNP3 SCADA networks provides the utility industry with a cost-effective solution to address this critical vulnerability. Complementing its earlier product release, Thales leads the industry in the critical infrastructure protection market."

Thales Security

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