N-DIMENSION IMPROVES CYBERSECURITY INTEGRITY AT PIEDMONT MUNICIPAL POWER AGENCY

Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada – July 21, 2015 – N-Dimension, a market leading Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) with innovative solutions that protect smart energy networks from cyber threats, today announced Piedmont Municipal Power Agency (PMPA) is now using its N-Sentinel cybersecurity monitoring service.  PMPA chose N-Sentinel to assure the ongoing cybersecurity integrity of its internal network.  N-Sentinel combines continuous cybersecurity monitoring, real-time alerts, utility community cyber threat insights and comprehensive threat information with guidance from utility cybersecurity experts.  It has helped PMPA to identify potential cyber risks and take timely action to improve their cybersecurity posture.

PMPA, located in northwest South Carolina, is a joint action agency that offers wholesale electric services to ten municipal electric utility members who deliver power to over 100,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers.  A key element of PMPA’s mission is to supply reliable power at the lowest possible rates and to provide a forum for education and economy of scale discounts on services.

PMPA’s IT and Telecommunications director, Jeff Bridgland sought to verify the overall cybersecurity integrity of their network.  As demands on IT resources continued to increase, in part due to IT-OT convergence, Bridgland wanted to reduce the risk of cyber threats.  He was concerned that a cyber threat could potentially affect the reliable delivery of power to member utilities and customers as well as possibly allow threats to penetrate their utility networks.  Firewalls and intrusion detection systems were already installed on PMPA’s network but he desired a way to audit their effectiveness and with the knowledge they needed to be tuned on a regular basis for best results. 

“The average length of time to identify a cyber intrusion is usually nine months which is a scary thought as it can inflict a lot of damage in that time” said Bridgland.  “I was relieved to receive our first N-Sentinel report that confirmed there were no cyber threats present on our network. N-Sentinel identified a number of cybersecurity concerns along with the specific network and security devices that needed fine tuning to improve our security integrity.  We received guidance on the actions to take and as a result, IT has become far more efficient.”

Existing network security devices provided detailed logs, however, they required time-consuming manual review of logs by PMPA’s IT staff to identify problems and determine the best course of action. N-Sentinel, however, provided deep analysis of logs and aggregation of the data enabling PMPA to review relevant cybersecurity concerns in a simple to understand format, saving a significant amount of analysis time while accelerating access to actionable information.  In addition, N-Sentinel uniquely provided expert guidance on actions PMPA could take to reduce cyber risks.

Unlike other types of cybersecurity devices such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, N-Sentinel adds an additional layer of protection, identifying cyber threats as well as other types of security concerns. For example, it identifies network and security devices that lack updated security patches; it detects the transmission of specific types of confidential information such as credit card numbers and social security data; and it identifies transmission of data over insecure or vulnerable protocols helping to meet cybersecurity standards and best practices such as PCI compliance and NERC CIP. These types of advanced insights into vulnerabilities enable customers to take action to reduce cyber risk.

“Cyber risks include not only active cyber attacks but potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited should they go unaddressed,” said Tom Ayers, CEO N-Dimension.  “N-Sentinel takes a comprehensive approach to reducing cyber risk by continuously monitoring for a range of cybersecurity issues and providing the utility with in-depth analysis and expert guidance on actions they can take.”

About N-Dimension Solutions

N-Dimension is a market leading Managed Security Service Provider (MSPP) with innovative solutions tailored to protect smart energy networks from cyber attacks, improving system reliability and safeguarding critical infrastructure, data and assets.  The company’s N-Sentinel service delivers real-time threat monitoring, detection and alerts.  In addition it uniquely combines utility community cybersecurity data and security intelligence to help utilities take preemptive action to protect themselves against cyber threats.  N-Dimension is the exclusive cybersecurity partner of Hometown Connections, the utility services subsidiary of the American Public Power Association (APPA) and an associate member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

For more information about N-Sentinel and to request a free on-site trial, visit our website at www.n-sentinel.com. Please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and check out our blog.

Media Contact

Denise Barton

N-Dimension Solutions

denise.barton@n-dimension.com

(408) 219-3403

 

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