The Importance of Cyber Security in Metering
Cyber security is essential to making sure your business is protected and safe from a malicious attack. Just a single incident of a hacker getting access into your system can cause an immeasurable amount of damage to, and issues with, both your company’s data and its reputation, sometimes permanently. Today’s hackers are extremely skilled, which makes preventing a malicious cyber-attack incredibly difficult. For example, a malicious attacker uses not only their technological savvy, but also strategies intended to trick an employee into unknowingly giving them access. This is called a social engineering attack. As hackers’ methods and knowledge become more advanced, cyber security must also continue to evolve in order to fend off malevolent intruders.
Utilities and Commercial applications are especially vulnerable in that they typically have power meters in their facilities that, when hacked, can allow an intruder to cause a tremendous amount of damage to the facility and the company. In places such as utilities, hackers will attempt to gain access to power meters and from there take down the entire power system, or even completely shut down an electrical grid. Even a short amount of time without power can cause large financial losses, which may have lasting effects on the company and employees as a result. These situations are even more frightening for hospitals. Every hospital measures their power quality to make sure there are no sags or surges in their electricity, but regardless of the power quality a malicious user can breach a non-secure power meter and turn off power throughout the hospital. Hospitals need their power to constantly be on, as they have equipment monitoring patients and even keeping them alive. A temporary loss of power could cause the death of innocent individuals, which shows how crucial it is for hospitals to have cyber secure power and energy meters.
These prevalent dangers increase the necessity for cyber secure meters in hospitals and utilities, but any business that needs metering can benefit from meters that are cyber secure and unlikely to be compromised. The Shark® 250, Shark® 270, Nexus® 1450 and Nexus® 1500+ meters are all highly advanced in cyber security and offer some of the best protection possible. Both Shark® meters have 32-bit AES encryption, while both Nexus® meters have 128-bit encryption. Data encryption helps protect your data by encoding it, thereby blocking unauthorized personnel from accessing it. The encryption method used by both the Shark® and Nexus® meters includes encrypting both your username and password as they are sent to the meter and changing the encryption every time you log in, so that it always remains unpredictable. In addition, the Nexus® 1450 and Nexus® 1500+ meters offer the added protection of digitally “signed” cryptographic signatures. These digital signatures insure that any firmware loaded into the meter is authentic, since the digital signature of the meter and the firmware must match. This eliminates the possibility of outside infiltration of your meter. Shark® and Nexus® meters also offer a feature called limitation of access, which allows the setup of limited handpicked permissions and capabilities for users, to help fight against the aforementioned social engineering attacks, or even protect your company against disgruntled employees. A security lock function is also available, if needed, to prevent security from ever becoming disabled. Other security features include password fail timeouts and the ability to customize security restrictions for over fifteen different functions.
The alarming ease and increasing rate of overall intrusions into business operations should be enough of a warning to keep your business’s data cyber secure. Too often businesses wait until after a security breach to investigate advancing their cyber security set up. Protection needs to come before an incident occurs, to ensure that your reputation and your data remain in-tact. Take advantage of the many benefits that our Shark® and Nexus® meters have to offer and allow yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your business is cyber secure. Speak to an EIG Rep today and getting more information on protecting your business with our cyber-secure Shark® and Nexus® meters.