N-Dimension Alerts Utilities to Cyber Attacks Before Hackers Cause Havoc
Company Announces New Cyber Threat Monitoring and Alert Product Optimized for Utilities
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada – January 28, 2015 – N-Dimension, the leader in innovative cybersecurity products protecting distributed smart energy networks from cyber attacks, today announces introduction of N-Sentinel. N-Sentinel is a continuous cybersecurity monitoring and alerting solution optimized for utilities.
This comprehensive early-warning system includes cloud-based intelligent threat analysis, real-time alerts, in-depth actionable reports, zero-touch management of threat detection sensors, and access to the Company’s security experts to assist customers in understanding threats and improving their security posture. Unlike any other product, N-Sentinel offers unique insights for utility customers through cyber intelligence monitoring that analyzes threats across an entire community of customers with similar networks and systems.
N-Dimension has found that utilities frequently don’t know what cyber threats are attacking their networks, even with firewalls and other security systems in place. For a utility to improve its security posture IT first needs to have knowledge about the traffic on its networks. A one-time security risk assessment provides valuable insights, but it represents a single point-in-time. With the types and number of cyber threats increasing and evolving, a one-time assessment is inadequate to ensure a network is secure. Cyber threat monitoring needs to be a continuous activity as security threats, utility networks, applications and users evolve over time.
N-Sentinel continuous monitoring enables a utility to better understand its network and the threats affecting it, and adjust its security posture and defenses to minimize cyber risks. Furthermore, by continually monitoring and analyzing information from a community of utilities sharing comparable systems, N-Sentinel cyber intelligence monitoring can proactively identify cyber threat trends and enable utilities to adjust defenses to meet new threats even before they are attacked.
“Most of our member utilities really don’t know how vulnerable their networks are to cybersecurity threats,” stated PJ Rehm, Project Engineer, ElectriCities of North Carolina. “Several of our utility members installed N-Sentinel and it quickly identified cyber risks that other security systems had not identified. They received detailed information about the risks and guidance on how to revise their security posture to protect against them. N-Sentinel is an affordable solution and is a key part of a security strategy that we recommend to our member utilities.”
Below are examples from N-Sentinel trials where cyber attacks were quickly identified before causing damage.
- Within minutes after installing N-Sentinel to monitor a utility’s operations network, a Joint Action Agency (JAA) in the upper Midwest received an alert. As a result, 50 successful, unauthorized log-ins to the network were identified through a port inadvertently left open. What this indicated is that an attack, either manual or automated, was underway whereby a hacker was trying to gain access. The alert allowed the JAA to block the attacks by firewall port. The solution was simple, but without N-Sentinel, the JAA was unaware of the problem, and it could have led to serious issues.
- After installing N-Sentinel behind an East Coast co-op utility’s firewall, an alert about a malicious command and control connection was generated. Malware had compromised desktops and servers, and was “phoning home” for attack instructions. Fortunately, before the attack could proceed further, the utility was able to take the compromised servers offline, and rebuild and patch them. Without N-Sentinel, the utility would have remained unaware of the malware and the potential for an attacker to control its systems would have remained a real threat.
“N-Dimension is uniquely positioned to help utilities protect against cyber threats knocking at the door every day,” stated Tom Ayers, CEO, N-Dimension. “We know from our experience that firewalls, intrusion detection systems, access control, and the like are just not enough. These devices can protect utilities from what they know but not from what they don’t know – that’s where N-Sentinel comes in. We provide an added layer of cybersecurity protection against the unknown threats which are constantly changing and just keep coming.”
It’s a well-known fact that cyber threats targeting utilities are on the rise. With utilities working towards modernizing and automating operations by deploying smart devices and applications (automated metering infrastructure, distribution automation, outage management, etc.) they have increased their vulnerability to cyber attacks from both outside and inside their networks. These smart devices require distributed communications networks to monitor or control them. They provide hackers with greater opportunity to access utility operations networks that lack adequate security. Such attacks can cause a range of problems including damage to power equipment, power outages, as well as fines.
Due to the success of the 60-day free trial program for N-Sentinel, N-Dimension is extending the availability of the program for a limited time. For more information about this special offer, please visit our website.
N-Dimension is participating at DistribuTECH 2015, where Doug Westlund, an N-Dimension co-founder, will be participating on the “Defending the Grid Track: Real-world Strategies, Threats, Consequences” panel discussion.
About N-Dimension Solutions
N-Dimension is a market leader in the development of innovative cybersecurity products that protect distributed smart energy networks from cyber attacks, improving system reliability and safeguarding critical infrastructure, data and assets. The company offers N-Sentinel, a cloud-based, real-time threat detection and alert product that uniquely combines utility community context and security intelligence enabling utilities to take offensive action in protecting against cyber threats.