New Tools for Utility Situational Awareness
Everything is becoming more connected, from our phones to our cars, but also our utilities. It used to be that utilities, like power and water, used internal networks that were completely disconnected from the Internet and its dangers, but not anymore. More and more these networks are connecting and sharing information with each other, but at the risk of intruders. The software for home computers can help protect these networks, but new tools are needed and now researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have created a new suite of tools designed for large networks.
This suite includes tools, like Sophia, to monitor all traffic with the network and give situational awareness to the workers. Sophia is such a tool that monitors all communication in a network, but makes no judgment on the kind of communication. If someone were to install a new machine, Sophia would know and alert the appropriate people, but would do nothing to stop communication with the new machine.
Sophia and the remainder of the security suite are already being tested by power companies which are provided feedback. These industry testers have all enjoyed using the software as it provides so much information, but is easy to use. Perhaps we will see the suite out of the testing phase soon and being used to secure more utilities.