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How to Build Powerful SCADA Network Security Monitoring Infrastructure

SCADA network

Imagine a bank robber who, late one night, works his way into the bank's ventilation system, crawls through air shafts, and gets to the vault to find it wide open. You'd probably agree, there needs to be more solid security. That seems like a no-brainer. To us, a powerful SCADA system for companies with multiple remote units that need monitoring is the equivalent of a secure bank vault.

SCADA isn't a piece of technology, but rather the acronym for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. This broad term covers the data collection and the control system that make up any automated monitoring system. And like any system, there may be a wide range of quality concerns.

We believe your SCADA system should be of the highest quality. What you protect is incredibly important. When you are looking to purchase or upgrade your remote monitoring systems, you'll want an efficient network of equipment that covers all your requirements, understands all your protocols and gives you the information to fit your needs.

Your SCADA network security is your bank vault. Let's make sure it's physically secure. Your SCADA infrastructure should be built with asset protection in mind, incorporating effective remote monitoring components throughout your system to protect your critical assets.

What Makes a SCADA Network Security System Powerful?

There are three primary and fundamental requirements for any decent SCADA system. These are:

  • It needs to be online and working. This seems obvious, but too many systems suffer extended downtime, during which you don't know what is going on at your very remote sites. SCADA systems that aren't built by professional engineers or don't have the power and durability to withstand tough conditions make your system vulnerable.
  • It needs to avoid being a nuisance. Alarms going off and pinging every person can be a real headache. The alarm has to go to the right person at the right time.
  • It needs alarm clarity. General "alarms" are confusing and unhelpful. Inputs need to be set and messages sent relaying what alarm is going off, why it is going off, and how to make it right.

If you don't have all three of these, you don't have a powerful system. But how do you make sure you meet the fundamental system requirements? You incorporate five key components into the building of a secure SCADA system.

The 5 Key Components to Building A Powerful SCADA Network Security Monitoring Infrastructure

A bank vault has to be more than a steel slab. It needs to have cylinders, bolts and latches, a box and strike plates. In the same way, you need to include these five components into building a powerful SCADA network security monitoring infrastructure.

1. Security Sensors

To fully secure your very remote sites, you'll want to have door and motion sensors. Door sensors are different than a blaring alarm. A specific message will be received by the right team (i.e. your security team) if a door is opened when it shouldn't be. You set when it should and shouldn't be opened, so you'll know. The motion sensor is smart enough to detect intruders while ignoring nuisances like mice.

2. Cameras

An IP camera is used for confirmation of events. If you get an alert, you can instantly check it out, getting visual proof and ascertaining exactly what is happening. It offers one-touch access and is easy-to-install for live streaming of your co-locations.

3. Electronic Door Control

A building access control system gives you control over doors - no matter how remote - at all times. By easily integrating into your security system, the electronic door control creates centralized entry management, supporting up to 16 doors and 1,300 people. This lets you control who gets in, deterring theft and vandalism 24 hours a day.

4. Equipment Alarms

How much non-vital equipment do you have at your remote sites? How much equipment would you be fine with going down? Probably none, right? That's why equipment alarms help you monitor everything. If something goes down or is in jeopardy, you'll receive an alarm.

5. Line Cut Detection

There are a lot of ways for a wire to be cut, whether through an accident, or, more likely, through battery and copper theft. It's a sad reality, but your very remote sites are targets for thieves. Having a line cut detection component for your SCADA system ensures you'll receive an alarm anytime a wire is cut. By running fiber cable through the handles of your battery jars, you'll know as any tampering occurs.

Those are some of the key components to implementing powerful SCADA infrastructure. There are a few more things you need for building your security - a smart network of RTUs and help from people who know how to build it.

The Importance of a Network of RTUs in SCADA Infrastructure

Remember when we talked about sending the right alarms to the right people? That's where a network of RTUs comes in.

You want a comprehensive system that separates security alarms from other alarms so that you can contact the police or your security team immediately when needed.

Otherwise, you're sending the maintenance crew to handle a theft - or sending your security guys up the mountain to handle humidity which doesn't make sense.

How do you make sure you have the right RTU, no matter your budget? You work with a team that:

  • Custom-builds your system efficiently according to your exact needs; and
  • Offers best-in-class support including free training, user manuals, and technical assistance.

Successfully building a powerful and secure SCADA system to fit all your needs requires a custom-made SCADA system. A custom SCADA network security monitoring system is the only way to make sure that all your sites are monitored and your alarms go to the right people at the right time.

If you want your remote assets to be protected, you need more than a vault. You need someone who will build and incorporate the protective components to secure your infrastructure.

DPS Telecom has the experience and expertise to help companies monitor what matters most - including their costs. Our technicians can work with you to install RTUs with easy-to-use interfaces for more automatic responses. Reach out and get a quote today!

Image courtesy Pixabay