Utility Network Security Addressed at NC AWWA Conference

Reid works a Moxa specSterling-ES CEO, Reid Garst, was a panelist at the North Carolina American Water Works Association (NC AWWA) Spring Conference in Wilmington.  Reid joined other industry experts to discuss “Wireless Is Here – How Can It Benefit My Utility?”  The panel focused on the application of all types of wireless communication in Water and Wastewater.

Panelists addressed the ways in which wireless communication is revolutionizing the Water and Wastewater industry by use of RF Telemetry, In-Plant Wireless Sensors, In-Plant Wireless I/O, SCADA access both inside and outside of the plant, and Cellular Based Communication. The experts also discussed Cybersecurity implications and the critical role of security in planning and implementation.

According to Garst, “The one topic the audience was most concerned about was security.  Everyone was aware of the propagation of wireless in the industry and we discussed the issue of potential hacking of networks.  We were able to address this threat by pointing out that many wireless networks use serial data and those with Ethernet data are typically encrypted or use Frequency Hopping techniques to make hacking extremely difficult.  The consensus was that an Internet connection on the plant SCADA computer was a much riskier point of entry for a hacker than most of the wireless networks.”