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Alperia selects Kaspersky to protect its power grid’s remote-control systems

Alperia selects Kaspersky to protect its power grid’s remote-control systems

EnergyEnterprise SecurityItalyNetworkingTop Stories

Energy provider, Alperia, has chosen Kaspersky to protect its power plants’ remote-control systems and distribution network that supply electricity to 280,000 users in South Tyrol, Italy. The choice to implement Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity for Nodes was dictated by the need to have a dedicated solution for the OT environment that grants maximum protection, without the risk of machines essential to the supply of services being interrupted. Today, Kaspersky protects 40 Alperia servers.

Alperia, a South Tyrol company established in 2016 following the merger of two major local electrical utilities, currently distributes electrical energy and gas to 280,000 users – operating 34 hydro-electrical power plants, six district heating plants, over 8,600 km of grid and 700 charging stations.

The telecommunications and teleconduction division of Alperia Group, led by Sandro Moretti, operates the production data and telecommunications transmission systems. A team of 13 people looks after RTUs (Remote Terminal Units), the data centres, the operation of control rooms and the connection network of the group’s two units: Alperia Greenpower for power production and Edyna for electrical energy distribution.

The need for Alperia to find a strategic partner to combat IT issues comes from the necessity to protect such a complex system, and more specifically the remote control systems of power plants and energy grids, for its users in South Tyrol. It was therefore fundamental to find a solution for the company to fit how it manages the perimeter of its remote-control systems with a more advanced security system against cyberattacks than the classical endpoints, and mainly dedicated to the OT environment. An essential characteristic to protect industrial environments is actually the implementation of solutions that are especially designed for these systems and that are able to grant maximum protection without the risk of stopping machines that are fundamental for supplying services.

After careful analysis of the few solutions available on the market, specifically dedicated to industrial environments, Alperia has chosen Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity (KICS). This solution is especially developed to protect the different levels of industrial infrastructures, including SCADA, DCS, PLC, engineering stations and network connections. This solution has a distinctive feature as it implements a holistic approach to grant cybersecurity for companies and critical infrastructures alike. Thanks to its versatility and flexibility, this solution can be configured based on an organisation’s particular needs, meaning it can fit the requirements of a specific ICS environment. This approach not only provides protection for industrial endpoints, but also makes use of passive monitoring technologies to identify anomalies and detect any possible network intrusion.

“Collaboration was the right path to reach our goal. The idea of setting up a task force with Kaspersky engineers allowed us to customise the product and make it fit for our company. I’m convinced that in such cases it is necessary to go beyond the classical client-supplier relationship and focus on creating a broader partnership. For this, we are considering the idea of setting up a service contract with Kaspersky that goes beyond the product support service and is configured like a support service for the whole network perimeter,” said Sandro Moretti Division Manager of Teleconduction and Telecommunication of Alperia.

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