Increased security and automation solutions and services will enhance utility operations

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 10, 2013

3 Min Read

SAN JOSE – May 07, 2013 – The core mission of utilities, as well as their regulatory mandate, is to provide safe and reliable power. Today, Cisco announced expanded solutions and services to help utilities enhance grid operations with greater levels of automation and security and changing regulatory requirements. Cisco's strong security knowledge and history combines a security strategy that addresses both the physical and cyber security layers, coupled with utility specific service offerings for the electric grid based on Cisco's Connected Grid Security Architecture. Cisco also extended its hardened network solutions for substations to allow utilities better visibility and management of the grid.

The Cisco Connected Grid Security Architecture is a blueprint that simplifies policy administration, strengthens security controls and gives business more flexibility and increased visibility into operations.

· Layered Security Architecture

· ​A converged security strategy is created across wired and wireless infrastructures where the communication network serves as a platform tool to detect, control, alert and mitigate against threats.

· Context-aware policies are enforced across the entire utility infrastructure network to meet rapidly evolving regulatory requirements and correlate directly with potential threats and business rules.

· Cisco Security Intelligence Operation (SIO) is used for real-time insight into the global threat environment for proactive notifications.

· ​Physical Security Solutions

· ​Integrated video surveillance, physical access control tools including card readers and sensor networks, for monitoring the status and location of assets and users.

· Cisco Services for Grid Security assists utilities in defining security requirements, developing future-state grid security architectures, coordinating the deployment and integration of security solutions, and delivering ongoing optimization and managed services.

​The Expanded Substation Solution helps bridge the gap that further transitions utilities to a fully IP-enabled grid.

· Cisco 1000 Series Connected Grid Switches:

· ​Compact and cost-effective Ethernet switches bring more reliable protection and control applications in power substations.

· Six models are available with 4 port, 8 port, and 16 port configurations.

· Dual Gigabit Ethernet uplinks distribute IEC 61850 protection communications over station bus and process bus rings.

· Power utilities can enable the IEEE 1588 power profile for precise timing.

· Investment protection is delivered for hitless protocol support of standards such as IEC-62439 Parallel Redundant Protocol (PRP) and High Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR).

· ​Cisco Aggregation Service Router (ASR) 900 Series 14 port Sync/Async Interface Module:

· ​Additional support for RS-232 serial communications to its ASR-903 platform provides flexible and interoperable SCADA communications across the WAN.

· 14 Asynchronous RS-232 ports facilitate connectivity to substation devices that require serial communication.

· Transport of legacy serial SCADA protocols across IP and MPLS networks using raw socket feature

· Easy integration of legacy serial-based devices with IP-enabled devices by adding to the flexible set of connectivity options on the ASR 900 series.

· ​Cisco Substation Automation Design and Implementation Guide:

· Utilities can learn about Cisco tested and validated designs to optimize network through use cases in validating and documenting system architecture, configurations, and performance with both Cisco and third-party equipment.

Lionel Chocron, vice president and general manager of Cisco Connected Energy Networks business unit:"Enhancements to our Connected Grid portfolio continue to reinforce Cisco's vision of an IP-enabled grid – one that transforms the way energy is produced and distributed. Through our architectural approach via the GridBlocks reference model, we are addressing top-of-mind utility concerns around security and automation. Cisco's new offerings extend our end-to-end value proposition by delivering greater visibility and control of grid assets, particularly for mission critical, low latency communications. These solutions improve grid state awareness and ultimately reduce cost of ownership from managing multiple networks."

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. To learn more about solutions for utilities, please visit For ongoing news, please go to .

About the Author(s)

Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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