The glaring gap in city cybersecurity (and how Intel is helping fix it)

Wed, 2015-03-11 06:00 -- SCC Staff

Quick -- what's your city's biggest single cyber vulnerability? If you answered "all those new smart meters and smart sensors," then you put your finger on an important issue. But there's something even
more at risk -- namely, your legacy infrastructure -- first and second generation gear that may have been in place for 10 years or more. Older gear didn't have some of the more sophisticated protections now common.

That's why it's good to see Council Associate Partner Intel tackling this problem head-on for the smart grid -- one of a smart city's most essential pieces of infrastructure. --Jesse Berst


 Intel Security -- a leading provider of comprehensive security solutions to local governments and energy sectors around the world -- developed a new technology platform for securing both legacy and new capabilities within the electric power grid.

“The risk of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure is no longer theoretical, but building security into the grid is challenging due to the amount of legacy infrastructure and the importance of availability of service,” said Lorie Wigle, Vice President of Internet of Things Security Solutions for Intel Security. “Traditional security measures such as patching and rebooting are often inappropriate for the grid, so we set out to design something entirely different that could be non-invasive but simultaneously robust.”

The new solution, Intel Security Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), was developed in collaboration with the Department of Energy-funded Discovery Across Texas smart grid project including deployment at Texas Tech University, and is a joint project of Intel Security and Wind River.

A successful public-private partnership
From December 2013 to January 2015, the Intel Security CIP was in a field trial at Texas Tech University, where it performed as required by NIST standards and withstood penetration testing, as well as protected the synchrophasor applications during the Heartbleed vulnerability and Havex attacks, according to Milton Holloway, President & COO, Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies.

"This project," Holloway added, "was an outstanding example of a successful public-private partnership in that it produced technologies that are market-ready."

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Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to learn about the benefits you receive when you join the Council for free. Follow @Jesse_Berst and connect on LinkedIn.