Intel Security and Wind River have introduced a new technology platform that has the potential to secure both legacy and new capabilities within the electric power grid. The solution, called the Intel Security Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP), was developed in collaboration with the Department of Energy-funded Discovery across Texas smart grid project and deployed at Texas Tech University as a field trial.
According to Intel, CIP works by “separating the security management functions of the platform from the operational applications, allowing the operational layer to be secured, monitored and managed. While sophisticated and extensive, the solution is also easy to use, cost-effective, and can work for both new and legacy infrastructure. Intel Security CIP can be applied with little or no changes to business processes or application software, and can be retrofitted onto many existing systems.”
Findings from two Intel-sponsored studies on grid security concluded the energy sector was not adequately prepared for cyberattacks.
Lorie Wigle, Intel Security’s vice president of Internet of things (IoT) security solutions, notes, “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, 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.”
Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies’ President and chief operating officer Milton Holloway explains, “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. This project was an outstanding example of a successful public-private partnership in that it produced technologies that are market-ready. What could be a better outcome of a demonstration project?”
CIP’s secure managed platform can also be used by departments of defense, the oil and gas industry, and medical applications.