Christiansburg’s FoxGuard Solutions protects nation’s power grid

20

FoxGuard Solutions, Inc. and partner TDi Technologies have completed a multi-year project to create a safer national power grid by simplifying the process of patching and updating energy delivery control system devices. The solution is the result of a $4.3 million Cooperative Agreement awarded in 2013 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) division.


“This is exactly why FoxGuard Solutions exists and this is where our team excels,” FoxGuard President & CEO, Marty Muscatello, said. “The solution developed comprises several elements that can each stand alone to improve security posture and, when integrated, provide a comprehensive solution to meet energy sector patch and update needs.”

Believing the nation’s security, economic prosperity, and the well-being of its citizens depends on reliable energy infrastructure, the DOE solicited FoxGuard Solution’s expertise to develop the patch and update management project for energy delivery systems. The energy sector places an emphasis on the availability and reliability of energy delivery operations. While best practice avoids the connection of energy delivery system devices to external networks, their increasing interconnectivity poses greater risk to cyber vulnerabilities, making proper and timely patches and updates critically important to maintaining system cybersecurity.

For many utilities, the process of applying patches to energy delivery systems creates a challenge to availability and reliability, as these updates may require an outage. FoxGuard Solutions was tasked with researching, developing, and demonstrating technology and techniques to identify and verify the integrity of updates and patches for energy delivery systems software, hardware and firmware, while also facilitating the deployment of those updates.

Key Elements Include:

Patch & Update Data Aggregator & Web Portal

Patch & Update Authentication

Validation Techniques

Query Engine

The Patch and Update Management Program simplifies the process of understanding what patches are available for energy delivery industrial control system devices for both end users and equipment vendors. The program also allows utilities to more easily adhere to NERC CIP v6 requirements involving patching, ultimately leading to a safer grid.

FoxGuard Solutions develops custom cyber security, compliance and industrial computing solutions. FoxGuard provides reliable, secure and configurable patch management reporting services, which include availability reporting and applicability analysis for information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) assets used in critical infrastructure environments. Visit foxguardsolutions.com to learn more.

TDi Technologies, based in Plano, TX, is the first solution provider to offer a unified system for cybersecurity/operation. Their patented technology provides flexibility, automation, optimization, control and management capabilities that dramatically improve the ability to meet operation and security demands. Visit tditechnologies.com to learn more.

In today’s highly interconnected world, reliable energy delivery requires cyber-resilient energy delivery systems. In fact, the nation’s security, economic prosperity, and the well-being of our citizens depends on reliable energy infrastructure. As such, a top priority for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is to make the nation’s electric power grid and oil and natural gas infrastructure resilient to cyber threats. Visit energy.gov to learn more.