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Keysight Unveils Industrial Visibility Solutions For Electric Utility Market

New network packet broker and taps enable electric utilities to meet monitoring requirements worldwide

Keysight Technologies, Inc. a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced a new series of Industrial Visibility solutions, which include a network packet broker and taps that enable electric utilities to meet North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) monitoring requirements.

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Operational technology (OT) systems, including industrial and control systems (ICS) that support the core operation of utilities, gas, oil and critical manufacturing companies, are targets for cyberattacks. Ransomware, extortion, and financially motivated cybercrimes top the list of threat vectors that concern respondents according to the SANS 2021 ICS Survey Report issued by the SANS Institute.

“While the threat of cyberattacks have kept IT security teams awake for the past forty years, the Ukraine power plant hack in 2015 was the first real wake up call for OT teams around the world,” said Taran Singh, vice president, Enterprise Solutions at Keysight Technologies. “OT networks are increasingly interconnected with IT networks expanding the OT attack surface. As cybersecurity attacks escalate against critical infrastructures, industrial operators, such as electric utilities, need technology to monitor the cybersecurity of both their OT and IT environments.”

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Keysight’s new Industrial Visibility solutions enable industrial asset operators and owners to monitor their IT and OT infrastructure for threats while meeting NERC CIP security standards and similar regulations for high-voltage electric transmission and power generation. These standards, including CIP-005, CIP-007, CIP-008, and CIP-010, require utilities to collect and archive network traffic at the plant and substation level.

Keysight’s new Industrial Visibility solutions include:

  • Copper Tough Taps, which are purpose-built 10/100/1000Mbps taps, provide fail-to-wire access to network traffic in extreme operating temperatures that support Power over Ethernet (PoE) pass through and are physically air gapped to monitor ports for intrusion protection.
  • Copper Tough Tap Power Solution, which offers fully redundant power source supply (dual-redundant) that is Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliant and can power up to 16 copper Tough Taps.
  • Flex Tough Taps that provide inline access to network traffic, have no IP address, do not drop packets, and add no additional overhead or management burden to network devices.
  • Vision T1000 Packet Aggregator is a network packet broker that provides network visibility into remote sites with harsh environments.

Keysight’s Tough Taps and Vision T1000 meet extended temperature ranges, withstand shock and vibration, and have optimized copper and fiber 10/100, 1G and 10G ports. In addition, these products have been certified for the International of Electrical and Electronics Engineers standards IEEE1613 for safety and IEC 61850 for communication protocols for intelligent electrical devices.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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