In January 2019, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve a settlement issuing a record $10 million fine against an unidentified utility resulting from violations of Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards occurring from 2015 to 2018. NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Standards apply to cybersecurity and physical security planning and preparation for organizations and agencies part of the North American Bulk Electric System and the planning and preparation efforts to deal with national and regional critical infrastructure threats.
Although none of the unidentified utility’s violations resulted in outages, NERC concluded that the cumulative effect of the violations posed a serious risk to the reliability of the U.S. power grid because “many of the violations involved long durations, multiple instances of non-compliance, and repeated failures to implement physical and cyber security protections.” This record fine demonstrates how costly non-compliance can be and that committing to implementing physical security protections is a must for utility organizations. Many of the compliance challenges that utility companies face are directly related to longstanding security challenges. Minimizing risks and liabilities is difficult across multiple facilities with remote, unmanned locations. Utility companies have traditionally addressed the situation with security guards, video surveillance cameras and fencing, which are all insufficient for numerous reasons:
- Video cameras document activity but do not prevent crime
- Fencing and other physical perimeter protections can be easily bypassed
- On-site security guards are expensive and subject to fatigue and distractions
- Incident reporting is a labor-intensive process and typically not comprehensive in documenting events
PROACTIVE VIDEO MONITORING HELPS WITH NERC CIP COMPLIANCE
Netwatch Proactive Video Monitoring (PVM) provides you with peace of mind knowing your site locations, no matter how remote, are safe and secure and in compliance with NERC CIP regulations.
Here’s how it works…
- Netwatch PVM enlists the expertise of highly trained Intervention Specialists who have specialized skillsets to detect, analyze and address potential threats as they are unfolding in real-time. This enables them to respond instantly with the best course of action to de-escalate or minimize harm to people, property, and assets.
- Netwatch maintains best-in-class PVM Communication Monitoring Centers based in the United States with geo-diversity to maintain continuous vigilance of utility properties with total redundancy. These highly diversified and advanced security monitoring centers ensure constant and uninterrupted surveillance by a team of experienced security professionals.
- PVM Communication Monitoring Centers employ cutting-edge surveillance and communication technologies including the latest advancements in AI-driven analytics, to ensure the highest levels of proactive situational awareness.
- Netwatch specializes in providing security for commercially managed properties such as utility companies. By knowing your distinct security challenges and nuances, Netwatch PVM transcends traditional security services to support you’re your specific security and compliance needs.
Let’s take a look at some specific CIP regulations and how Netwatch PVM helps you address them.