N-Dimension Works with Vermont Electric Cooperative to Minimize Cybersecurity Risks

N-Dimension Solutions, a market leading Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) with innovative solutions that protect smart energy networks from cyber threats, announced Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) has deployed N-Sentinel Monitoring on their internal network to identify cybersecurity risks. In addition to alerting IT to issues it delivers in-depth insights identifying affected systems and providing guidance on actions to take.

VEC is the largest member-owned electric distribution cooperative in Vermont. Their mission is to deliver safe, affordable and reliable power service to approximately 32,000 members across 8 rural counties in the state. The utility is nationally recognized for adoption of innovative and advanced technology used to help achieve their goals.

“We have a perimeter firewall and intrusion protection system but it only monitors traffic coming in and going out of our network – not what’s going on inside of it,” said Fred Wiseman, Information Technology Specialist, VEC. “N-Sentinel Monitoring provides us with visibility into suspicious activities and provides the information we need to be proactive. It’s a solution every utility should consider. It’s easily installed, cost effective and is like having a cybersecurity expert on staff.”

Examples of activities detected by N-Sentinel Monitoring on their network which VEC would not have had visibility into otherwise, include individuals accessing intranet sites using clear-text passwords, usage of outdated and vulnerable version of Java and other software versions, cloud-based storage services (e.g. Dropbox); downloads of executable files from the Internet; and use of external web services to resolve IP addresses. With N-Sentinel Monitoring, IT was alerted to these activities, some of which were not in compliance with the utility’s security policies. The IP address(s) of systems involved in the risky activity was included, enabling them to quickly identify who had take the action so they could take appropriate action.

VEC was introduced to N-Sentinel Monitoring as a result of participating in a project led by the Cooperative Research Network (CRN), the technology arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The CRN project focused on evaluating the value of continuous network monitoring and cybersecurity community data, key attributes provided as part of N-Sentinel Monitoring. The project involved installation of N-Sentinel Monitoring sensors at NRECA member utilities for a 6-month period. Upon successful conclusion of the project, VEC opted to retain the N-Sentinel Monitoring service after experience its overall benefits.

“Ongoing cyber threat vigilance of traffic inside the utility’s IT network is essential as risks can often bypass perimeter security devices,” said Tom Ayers, president and CEO, N-Dimension. “Our managed service is an essential tool providing IT staff with visibility and cybersecurity intelligence guiding them to take timely actions.”


Source: N-Dimension
Date: May 8, 2017