Home ResourcesBlog FoxGuard Solutions Provides Patch and Update Solution for Energy Delivery Systems

FoxGuard Solutions Provides Patch and Update Solution for Energy Delivery Systems

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Christiansburg, VA. January 24, 2018 – FoxGuard Solutions is excited to be presenting our collaborative Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) project with the Department of Energy (DOE) at Distributech this week.

PATCHING AND UPDATING IMPROVES CYBER SECURITY
Patching and updating equipment and networks for cyber security is time intensive and can be risky because updates can stop system processes. By combining multiple patch sources into one, FoxGuard’s patch aggregation solution reduces the risk to energy delivery providers. Centralized patching reduces compliance, resource and scope burdens ensuring that security patches are not overlooked by delivering them in a timely manner. Existing regulatory compliance requirements such as NERC CIP v6 make the solution attractive for energy delivery systems (EDS). This capability is relevant, timely and critical for the security of our nation’s electrical grid.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPING THE SOLUTION
The Patch and Update Management Program accommodates third party and legacy components supporting both traditional Information Technology (IT) found in industrial control system environments as well as Operational Technology (OT) devices. FoxGuard Solutions researched a variety of options and opted to partner with TDi Technologies to use their existing toolset to collect baseline asset information from Operational Technology (OT) devices found in the electric industry. Traditionally collecting baseline information (vendor, version, model number) from devices such as programmable logic controllers (PLC’s), relays, remote terminal units (RTU’s) and sensors was completed through the manual curation of the data from plant or substation floor walk downs. Using TDi’s asset information gathering tools, the end user can now collect information from these devices in a safe and reliable way that does not impede service. The information collected is stored on premise within the electric utility and the anonymized asset data is shared with FoxGuard. This secure asset data is managed efficiently through FoxGuard’s Asset Analysis Tool; allowing the consolidation and normalization of large amounts of data for patch reporting. Once the Asset Analysis process is complete, security patches, along with vendor provided hash files, are reported, where available, from the data aggregator service. Additionally, FoxGuard provides a way for customers to identify and verify the integrity of the aggregated patch data for energy delivery control system software and firmware. Together with TDi, FoxGuard has also automated Patch Gap reporting, providing a quick and efficient process to notify end users which security patches need to be installed in order to bring a device completely up to date. Patch Gap eliminates the guesswork and chronological patching methods of old by saving valuable time. Lastly, FoxGuard also built a Validation Training Program for end user utilities modeled after similar successful programs that have been executed for more than ten years for OEM partners.
This work was enabled by a $4.3 million Cooperative Agreement awarded in 2013 as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) program.

DEMONSTRATION HIGHLIGHTS
FoxGuard Solutions, Inc. and TDi Technologies presented the Patch and Update Management Program at the FoxGuard headquarters in Christiansburg, VA on July 13, 2017. Representatives from the DOE and other agencies, electric utilities, other CEDS project participants, and an electric utility cooperative consortium attended. FoxGuard also hosted Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) for a tour of facilities and to provide him with an overview and demonstration of the Patch and Update Management Program. A second demonstration was presented at TDi Technologies headquarters in Plano, TX on September 28th, 2017 also bringing together representatives from the DOE and electric utilities. The demonstrated end-to-end solution for EDS fills an important cyber security gap.

WHO IS FOXGUARD?
FoxGuard Solutions develops custom cyber security, compliance and industrial computing solutions. FoxGuard provides reliable, secure and configurable patch management reporting services, which include availability reporting and applicability analysis for information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) assets used in critical infrastructure environments. 

 

LINKS:
PR Newswire – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/foxguard-solutions-provides-patch-and-update-solution-for-energy-delivery-systems-300587908.html?tc=eml_cleartime

 

 
Media Contact
Marcie Killen
Marketing Manager
p. 540.382.4234 x152

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PATCH MANAGEMENT?
FoxGuard provides a wide range of patch management solutions that help entities identify and mitigate gaps in the security of their systems and prepare for NERC CIP audits. We host a webinar series to discuss ways to develop and implement a robust patch management program. Reserve your spot in our next session.

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If you want to discuss something specific, we will do that too! Just reach out, tell us what your challenges are, and we will have one of our security experts contact you.

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