Partnership Provides City with CyberSecurity

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Thanks to a partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the City of Fort Morgan’s electrical system has been fitted with state-of-the-art technology that provides cybersecurity to critical infrastructure.

“The partnership between SNC and the City of Fort Morgan for fielding Binary Armor® to protect their SCADA network has been a great success. It really goes to show how cutting-edge technology can improve the lives of everyday people,” said Gilbert.

Thanks to a partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the City of Fort Morgan’s electrical system has been fitted with state-of-the-art technology that provides cybersecurity to critical infrastructure.

SNC, a world-renowned prime systems integrator and electronic systems provider, recently completed installation of its Binary Armor® SCADA network guard for the city’s electrical substations.

The city began its relationship with SNC in 2013, when the company approached city officials with an opportunity to be the launch customer for a new product designed to prevent remote, electronic infiltration of public utility systems. The product leverages SNC’s expertise in providing cutting-edge cyberprotection for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA), the electrical network’s remote monitoring application.

“We have seen great success in integrating a system that we feel will prevent unwanted incursions into the City’s computer network associated with its electric system,” said City Manager Jeff Wells. “With the ever-changing technology we see in our society, it’s important that we keep up with the latest trends that could potentially harm the city’s system and, more importantly, its ratepayers. The benefit of our very productive relationship with Sierra Nevada Corporation is that we are able to be the first to try a new technology, and in a way that was cost-effective to our ratepayers.”

SCADA systems, which are in place on the city’s electrical substations as well as other utility departments, allow city utility operators to monitor the operating status of all elements of a plant or station from a single remote computer. Binary Armor® is fielded at each substation and the city offices to provide customized, in-line protection for the SCADA network.

While SCADA systems are an invaluable tool for tracking and managing the performance of complex systems, vulnerability to breach has always been a concern. Because of this, city officials were eager to meet with SNC representatives to discuss the possibility of using the company’s new Binary Armor® protection system.

After initial discussions, city officials were confident that Binary Armor® would be a good fit with the city’s systems and could offer a huge benefit in terms of electrical system security. Because the city agreed to field test the new system on its substations, SNC provided the equipment, installation, training and maintenance to the city at no cost.

“SNC is excited to see how much the use of Binary Armor® in Fort Morgan has greatly benefited the community,” said Vice President of Integrated Tactical Systems Taco Gilbert. “The partnership between SNC and the City of Fort Morgan for fielding Binary Armor® to protect their SCADA network has been a great success. It really goes to show how cutting-edge technology can improve the lives of everyday people.”

The city had already planned to replace and upgrade the SCADA systems for its electric system this year. After exploring the potential of the Binary Armor® system and seeing the possible benefits, city staff was able to focus on SCADA suppliers that met the system requirements.

SNC technicians performed routine testing and monitoring on several occasions to ensure that all equipment and installation work was properly completed. After successful completion of field testing, the new SCADA system and its Binary Armor® cybersecurity protection are now operationally fielded at the city’s substations and offices.

This accomplishment is yet another testament to the vision and versatility of Fort Morgan’s leadership.

“The City of Fort Morgan is becoming well known for its ability to partner with a wide range of businesses and entities such as SNC that are seeking the same outcome that we are: innovation and growth,” Wells said.

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Michelle Erlach
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