PAS: Visualizing Data; Automating Compliance

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @ 06:05 PM gHale

By Gregory Hale
More data is coming in to operators every day and that can be a good thing if the flood of information is understandable and in the right context.

“Big Data is no good if it is not the right data at the right time,” said Amy Ericson, U.S. Country president for energy and transportation solutions provider Alstom during her talk at the PAS Technology Conference 2014 in Houston. “How do you visualize the data that is coming in?

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Along those lines, Alstom and PAS inked a deal where Alstom will distribute the PAS PowerGraphiX software.

“We are looking at PowerGraphiX to bring consistency to the industry,” Ericson said.

PowerGraphiX is a set of predesigned graphic templates, object libraries and best-practice guidelines for the design and implementation of operator interfaces at power generation plants. The goal is the make graphics easier to read and understand compared to the hodgepodge of inconsistent offerings out now.

Initially, the software came about because Southern Company Services, Inc. had a vision of consistent HMIs and improved situational awareness in control rooms across the operating fleet. PAS is now making the product commercially available for all utilities.

The Alstom pact was not the only partnership unveiled at the conference as PAS inked an agreement with security provider,Tripwire.

The agreement is part of the Tripwire NERC Alliance Network Program designed to bring collaboration on critical infrastructure compliance and security solutions to help companies efficiently and effectively achieve the complicated NERC CIP compliance.

The integration between the PAS Integrity Software Suite and Tripwire NERC Solution Suite will provide uses with automation software that drastically reduces the time and resources required to collect audit evidence. The goal is the bring a consistent approach to the management and maintenance of secure configurations across a wide range of devices including Industrial Control Systems (ICS), SCADA, Microsoft Windows and Windows Servers.

“Automating the collection of configuration information for all critical assets in energy organizations saves precious resources, improves compliance, reduces human error and, in addition, dramatically reduces cyber security risks,” said Mark Carrigan, vice president of technology at PAS.

Energy organizations must gather, analyze, prioritize and document a large amount of vulnerability and network data in order to protect their most critical assets and meet compliance requirements. The integration of PAS’ Integrity Software Suite and Tripwire’s NERC Solution Suite provides customers with:
• A single process that enables continuous monitoring and rapidly captures detailed status information across a wide range of critical cyber assets, from computer systems and network devices to badge entry systems and SCADA devices.
• Audit-ready reports and dashboards grouped via a flexible and extensible classification system.
• Automated assessment and aggregation of security data alerts that assist in detecting potential security breaches or configuration modifications that affect compliance status.

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