Utility organizations face major security challenges. Their critical infrastructure is vulnerable to criminal and terrorist activity. Protecting the electric network against cyber threats and physical attacks is a legal requirement.
Utilities must also protect consumer privacy. Utility organizations are required by law to protect the consumer data they gather and this has become more challenging with the introduction of Smart Meters.
DMR Tier 3 from Tait Communications has been engineered to support security and privacy. With a Tait DMR system a utility is equipped to meet its regulatory requirements.
Encryption and key management
Encryption of voice and data traffic is the first line of defense. A robust encryption technology, such as AES, with a 128 or 256 bit encryption key that is changed regularly provides one of the most technically challenging barriers for cyber-criminals to overcome.
The Tait Enable collection of management tools includes EnableProtect Key Management Facility (KMF), which will enable regular and automated updating of unique encryption keys across your entire radio fleet, and the EnableProtect Key Fill Device (KFD), which will make in-field encryption management easy.
User registration and authentication
As an additional line of defence against unauthorized network access, the Tait DMR Tier 3 system requires that all mobile and portable radios be registered on the network and that all radio users be authenticated before they are given access to network channels. These measures ensure that only legitimate users communicate across the network. This helps prevent the loss of confidential voice or data information and prevent the spread of false information by malicious users.
Network access protection
Tait DMR supports a range of access control mechanisms for network operators from username and password combinations to a "token" control systems. Tait DMR Tier 3 helps utilities centralize network access control and connect it to a secure database that maintains records of all individual access histories and security setting changes made by individual radio operators.
Disabling radios with 'stun'
Tait DMR Tier 3 incorporates an Over-The-Air-Programming (OTAP) feature that enables radio network administrators to remotely disable rogue radios.
With radios in use across a wide geographical area, some devices will unavoidably be lost or obtained by unauthorized users. DMR Tier 3 addresses this threat with a remote 'stun' function with which network administrators can temporarily stun a radio and render it unable to function or connect to the network.
Industry best practice IT protection
Following industry best practice, Tait DMR Tier 3 networks support VPN installation, virus scanners and secure HTTPS access. All IP ports that are not in use are disabled. The SNMP manager used to monitor the network is based on secure SNMP V3.
Know your network
Many security systems rely completely on a secure perimeter around the network. Once this perimeter is broken, the intruder has free access. Tait DMR provides a highly secure perimeter but also supports on-going network traffic monitoring that will report on any deviation from "normal" usage scenarios.
The Tait DMR Tier 3 platform offers a no compromise choice for utility organizations looking to provide secure communications now and into the future.