As top U.S. Intelligence officials debate concerns about growing vulnerabilities of America’s power-grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), MerlinM2M delivers encrypted authentication protection for energy providers and end-users.
“Having a good firewall still leaves the smart-grid at risk,” warns Paul “Prem” Sobel, CTO MerlinCryption LLC, “Cloners can defraud IP addresses and other protocol methods to force a system shutdown and infiltration. The MerlinM2M Security Platform’s triple-layer security process not only denies access, but also secures data integrity with encryption, while alerting operators of foul play.”
The platform’s advanced scripting controller automates secure processes that cannot be detected by hackers. MerlinM2M can uniquely and dynamically script the calculation of the encryption parameters, as well as automatic response to alarms and alerts. Flexibility allows the smart-grid operator to continually change all key, password, and authentication parameters, on command.
“As example, a man-in-the-middle strives to intercept messages, change updates, block alerts, or other false data injection between meters and the utility company.” explains Sobel.
“In this instance, the attack against the grid would be identified through MerlinM2M’s authentication, the controller automatically triggers changes to increase frequency of information flow, vary key lengths and passwords, or modify other parameters. Status messages, alarms, and alerts will securely, dynamically, and flexibly transmit between operators, security intelligence, and machines in a sub-second response.”
Energy providers, industrial-control system manufacturers, and grid operators benefit from customization of each encryption engine, which is unique to their system and not interoperable with any other custom or standard version. The additional ability to customize the platform components, for individual smart utility companies, strengthens security and decreases vulnerability of the overall smart grid network.
MerlinM2M is BIS/NSA approved for export and OFAC compliant. The platform secures end-to-end data transmission with scalable encryption keys up to 2 GBs in length and passwords up to 64KB. Each encryption process provokes a specific component that dynamically alters all generated data, producing a different encrypted transmission every time, even when the meter or other device, repeats the same data, key, and password input.