Running substations on Ethernet network

A communications network can be described as the nervous system for a substation security solution – it is therefore essential that the communications network is properly secured. The first way to secure the communications network is, of course, barriers to prevent individuals from accessing devices or sections of the network that they are not authorised to access. These include general Ethernet security components such as firewalls and VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunnels between remote sites, especially when these communication tunnels use a non-secure (or partially secure) network such as the internet or a corporate wireless mesh.

A secure access management solution is one that can monitor and control users’ access to various devices once they are ‘inside’ your network. This includes authorised users of the network, as controlling their access will help prevent ‘human element’ problems, such as incorrect configuration changes, or configuration changes to the wrong device. These can often be extremely difficult to troubleshoot and fix without an access management solution to provide traceability.

 

Take note

  • Substation security has grown into a discipline of its own.
  • Today, substation security extends to each device within the network, as well as specific areas of the plant.
  • Ethernet offers an ideal solution for substation security, linking the system to the central control room and to other systems.

 

Published as:

Answer to substation security

By D Kowensky, H3iSquared

Electricity+Control, January 2013 (pages 4 -5)

Enquiries: Doron Kowensky. Tel. 011 454 6025 or email info@h3isquared.com.