A Sense of Security: How Trimark Prevents SCADA System Breaches

While Trimark is a respected pioneer of SCADA and metering technology within the energy industry, our cybersecurity efforts are just as refined. Especially meticulous in their precautions and oversight, Trimark’s in-house network security engineers and cybersecurity experts are always on the lookout for external threats, safeguarding the many sites we manage from calamity.

A Surprise to Be Sure, but a Welcome One

That Trimark has an in-house network security team is unique—most energy companies and SCADA providers don’t have such experts on staff, nor do they spec their own firewalls. To Trimark’s cybersecurity experts, firewalls are a standard, and for good reason. A well-maintained and regularly updated firewall protects any site from the vast majority of cyber attacks, and constitutes what Trimark’s David Hughes and Christian Stevenson, two of our foremost experts on network design and cybersecurity, refer to as “basic security hygiene.”

Experience as a Defense

Too often, companies will forego such contingencies, or implement an access barrier that is largely negligible in that no significant authentication or verification is enforced—a setup that, as David puts it, “allows anyone to go for a joyride in a system on the other end of the state.” Trimark’s advanced firewall knowledge, including our extensive experience with numerous firewall vendors, makes it incredibly difficult for cyber-attackers to gain access into any site’s systems.

Here to Help

However, it is important to note that Trimark cannot actively maintain site firewalls without first gaining permission and access from the companies who operate those sites, with additional security and monitoring services being offered through the Trimark Operations Center (TOC) for proactive deterrence. Those who heed Trimark’s warnings regarding security hygiene are better for it, as Trimark not only supplies industry standard firewall devices, but also implements them in such a way that exposes devices only to necessary traffic. Segmenting traffic in this regard makes for a more secure network design.

Above and Beyond

All of this is indicative of Trimark’s holistic approach to security, wherein we view security implementation as a critical component of any project, as opposed to a mere extra or optional add-on. To this end, Trimark starts the security process at project inception – working all the way through COD and beyond – rather than as a perfunctory gesture to signal the conclusion of our labor.

Further emphasizing this is the fact that Trimark’s security team always builds SCADA systems with NERC CIP compliance in mind, even when NERC CIP is not actually a project requirement. Because of this, we can’t quite say that we “provide” NERC CIP compliance, given that there are additional policies and procedures to adhere to. However, we lay the groundwork necessary for NERC CIP compliance to be adopted, down to every last device—even field switches.

System Vanguards

It would be an incredible understatement to say that Trimark takes cybersecurity and network protection seriously. To our cybersecurity team, implementing these safeguards is a point of pride: their efforts prevent all manner of sites from succumbing to a never-ending cycle of network attacks. This is never immediately obvious—but of course, that’s a good thing.

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