On February 13, I attended the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University. President Obama, along with senior leaders spanning federal government, industry and technology sectors, law enforcement, consumer privacy advocates, and others convened to collaborate and build partnerships within the public and private sectors to further improve cybersecurity practices.
The keynote, panels and workgroup sessions covered a range of preeminent topics but the resounding theme from each was simple – everyone is online, therefore everyone is vulnerable. A comprehensive and collaborative effort from private and public sectors will be necessary to address these challenges. Sharing information in a safe, secure, confidential and reliable way will be a major factor in this coordinated approach.
Throughout the Summit, the key challenges were consistent –
- The need for legislation to protect information sharing
- Eliminate cross-industry barriers and establish partnerships
- Liabilities created by the convergence of wireless & digital technology
- Need to raise the security baseline for digital products and controls
- Create stewardship for planning and management
This is a complex and changing environment, but it’s moving in the right direction. Several public-private partnerships exist today that are starting to address these challenges including the Electric Sub-sector Coordinating Council, Cyber Threat Alliance, Idaho National Laboratory and the Cyber Threat Intelligence Centre. Additionally, President Obama officially signed the Executive Order on Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing while at the Summit and launched the BuySecure Initiative in November to help mitigate these risks.
Specifically within the utilities industry, there has been a consistent focus on reliability and safety, but modernizing the electric grid is an ongoing process. Cisco Secure Ops and Collaborative Operations are just a couple of the solutions addressing this industry evolution; click here to learn more. In my next blog, I’ll address some of these Cybersecurity exposures and how to leverage technology to reduce these risks.
Tags: Cisco, Cisco Secure Ops, cybersecurity, electric grid, Energy/Utilities
While Day One of DistribuTECH wrapped on Tuesday, Day Two delivered more of the same: exceptional networking, education and workshops for utility professionals, industry experts and solution providers. The day kicked off with lively roundtable discussions, followed by another full day of conference sessions, workshops, and demonstrations. With so many great topics and speakers, it was difficult to choose which to attend!
The session I gained the most value from was NERC-CIP version 5 Strategies and Approaches. The panelists addressed compliance approaches for the updated standard, aimed at fending off both cyber and physical attacks. Panelist gave their views on identifying assets and how to address monitoring and controls. Other panelists made it clear that perimeter defense is one of the many tools but by no means the only tool to address grid cyber security. Security teams should focus on approaches that encompass intelligence. Hacktivists, nation states, and cyber-criminal threat vectors are relevant considering the threat landscape.
During the day, I popped into the exhibit hall to check out the product workshops and demonstrations. I was particularly interested in integration of Bitstew’s Grid Director’s analytic into Cisco’s architecture. The ability to get a complete view of the grid with predictive analytics capabilities enhanced the Internet of Everything deployment.
During the evening reception, our booth was abuzz with attendees wanting to learn more about our solutions for Field Area Networks, Grid Security, Substation Automation and collaboration. Field Area Networks was especially popular with the attendees and our reps did a great job articulating the multiservice value and different connectivity options. We had a great evening with attendees, industry peers and our customers celebrating the 25th anniversary of DTECH, complete with the Macarena dance craze to boot!
It’s been a busy few days, but it’s not over yet. On Thursday, we still have a half-day of networking, engagement and education planned. Don’t miss your final opportunity to visit Cisco Booth #3413. After lunch, we’ll pack up our solutions and start planning for next year’s event! Check back tomorrow for a full DistribuTECH recap!
Tags: DistribuTECH, field area networks, GRID, grid automation, Secure Ops, utilities
There was a LOT of great activity today in San Diego at DistribuTECH! The day started with a Keynote session from industry executives Jeff Martin and Ted Craver, sharing their insights followed by future prognostications from renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku.
Dr. Michio Kaku speaking at DistribuTECH! 2015
Both Mr. Martin, CEO of SDG&E, and Mr. Craver, CEO of Edison International, described their commitment to a greener energy future, accepting the challenges of adding more renewable sources of power to their respective utilities. Attendees left the session more prepared to welcome the inevitable challenges and opportunities that come with this changing landscape. The best part of the keynote for me was the acknowledgement of how the industry is going to change more in the next ten years than it has in the previous 100 years.
After the session, all attendees, including myself, were ready to gear up for what’s next by attending and learning from the various workshops and sessions planned throughout the day. The afternoon kicked-off with conference sessions along with concurrent product workshops and demos on the exhibit floor. The conference session topics ranged from advanced metering to water utility technology, but I was particularly interested in sessions on security, grid automation and the policy discussion on renewables and transmission. These areas are at the heart of the industry transformation. Regulation of the industry needs to change just as much as the industry needs to change.
Product workshops and demonstrations are always a big draw for our customers and one of my personal highlights from this event. As my colleague Peter mentioned in his last blog, Cisco’s booth doesn’t disappoint! Our featured solutions include Field Area Networks, Substation Automation, Secure Ops Solutions and our FirePOWER threat defense.
The day came to close with the opening reception on the exhibit floor. This networking event provided us a great opportunity to meet with customers and hear their top challenges first hand. The overwhelming feedback was positive and customers are looking to Cisco for how to deal with legacy equipment, security threats, and the new capabilities required by grid transformation.
All good things must come to an end but thankfully for us, it’s just the beginning! The Cisco team is looking forward to another packed day Wednesday, beginning with breakfast round table discussions starting at 7:30am. If you haven’t already, make sure to stop by Cisco Booth #3413 in the exhibit hall and check back tomorrow for another daily recap from your Cisco team, live at DistribuTECH!
Tags: DistribuTECH, GRID, grid automation, Secure Ops, utilities
The preparations are almost complete. The Demonstrations are ready. The Experts are waiting for you. Come visit us at the Show!
Cisco under the Spotlight
There are some cool goings-on at the Cisco Booth at DistribuTECH this year.
Our previous posts (DistribuTECH, Cisco, Business and Technical (IT and OT) Solutions. See them all in San Diego February 3rd-4th my me, Peter Granger, and Cisco Demonstrating Solutions for a variety of utilities needs at DistribuTECH, by my colleague Clara Alvarado), told you what to expect. So this is just a little reminder.
Everyone knows that Cisco is big in the IT and carpeted areas of Enterprise customers, but did you know (I feel a car insurance commercial coming on!) just how relevant we are now in the operational side. Just take a look at the specialized technology we have that is ruggedized for harsh environments and outdoor use.
Did you know – not just carpeted areas any more!
At the booth we even have out own outdoor neighborhood utility pole on display with some of that equipment mounted on it!
Field Area Networks, Substation Automation – even Smart Metering are all available today, in many cases working with our partners to deliver a complete technology and service solution.
Since security and safety are top-of-mind we’ll devote some of the booth to the Secure Ops Solution for Industrial Control Networks, under the “Strengthen Security and Compliance” banner, along with showing Cisco Security for Utilities with FirePOWER under the “Protect SCADA Systems banner”. Lots more to see – look out for our show updates during the week, and some live video we’ll be capturing to summarize the demos and recognize the real business value of the solutions.
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow when the show opens.
Remember that you can still book meetings as I reported in my last blog:
Contact Sandra Bullock to schedule a meeting.
…”I’m happy to tell you that there will be opportunities to meet up with industry experts and technology specialists at our booth to discuss your most pressing concerns and how Cisco and and our partners can help. Here’s how: to schedule a booth tour or customer/partner meeting, contact Samantha Bullock. Sandra will help make it happen.”
And I want to say a special ‘Thank you’ to all the folks who (quite literally as it happens!) weathered the storms to get here!
Read More »
Tags: business outcomes, Cisco Collaborative Operations Solution, demonstration, DistribuTECH, FAN, field area network, Fog computing, IOx, OT, San Diego, utilities
The theme of Cisco during its 6th participation in Distributech will be “Providing powerful networks for the world’s most critical infrastructures”, and that is exactly what the demos in our booth will be…
Field Area Networks
The Cisco vision for the Field Area Network (FAN) is to help enable pervasive monitoring and control of energy distribution networks to enhance energy delivery and build a low carbon society. Addressing the need of multiple use cases such as advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation, and remote workforce management, this demo will showcase some of the latest additions to the Connected Grid product portfolio including:
● Cisco IR 500 Series Distribution Automation Gateway
● PLC NAN modules
● WiMAX WAN modules for the Cisco 1000 Series Connected Grid Routers
● The Connected Grid Network Management System
See how you can securely manage millions of endpoints over multivendor, multitechnology, multiservice utility communication networks with our connected grid network management solution. This solution provides enterprise-class visibility, as well as end to end monitoring and control across your network communications by supporting integration with application layer platforms.
If some of your more pressing needs are around security, you will get a first-hand look at a better way to manage cyber-security risk in industrial control networks and critical infrastructure networks. The Secure Ops demo will showcase situational awareness and compliance dashboards that make it easier to manage assets and secure the perimeter between enterprise and operational networks. In the Industrial Cybersecurity demo we’ll demonstrate the security measures an organization can take to detect, prevent, and remediate cybersecurity incidents.
During hurricanes, ice storms, and other natural disasters, first responders need to be able to connect and collaborate with a common operating view. Come learn how our incident response and workforce enablement solutions unify command and control communications. Enhance safety and security operations. And deliver better situation awareness with mobility and rich media. So our heroes can connect and collaborate over any device, network, or media whether in the field, operations center, or a remote location.
Enabling Your Own Applications
Here we will be showcasing our Cisco IOx platform. In this demo area visitors will learn how they can develop their own smart applications to capitalize on the power of fog computing. Cisco IOS Software, the industry-leading networking operating system, comes together with Linux, the leading open source platform, to enable developers to create IoT applications such as data aggregation, control systems, and access control and have them run on edge network devices.
Visit us in booth # 3413 to see demonstrations of our expanded portfolio and continued commitment to helping utilities succeed in providing better and more reliable customer service, while helping workers stay safe and helping organizations lower costs.! Read More »
Tags: #IoE, demo, demonstrations, DistribuTECH, Iinternet of Tthings, IoE, IoT, San Diego, utilities