Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system developer Control Microsystems and telecommunications IT supplier TUSC announced a partnership to provide end-to-end solutions for Australian utilities.
Speaking at the National SCADA Conference today, TUSC general manager of utilities and resources, John Gugel, said the company has become the first Australian integrator to join Control Microsystems' SCADA partner plus program.
"Control Microsystems' broad range of products are engineered specifically for the markets in which we operate, and we are very excited about adding them to our SCADA product portfolio," Gugel said.
The end-to-end SCADA solution includes the ClearSCADA platform from Control Microsystems, with delivery services such as systems integration, project management, training and support from TUSC.
Control Microsystems Asia Pacific manager, Peter King, said the company's products are used around the world in water and wastewater automation, and in the production, gathering, and pipeline automation of natural gas and crude oil.
"TUSC has a lot of SCADA integration experience and a strong reputation for providing reliable solutions," King said.
TUSC provides service management solutions such as distribution management, field force automation, SCADA systems, and performance management solutions for Australian gas, electricity and water companies including Alinta, Origin Energy, Epic Energy, City West Water, and Yarra Valley Water.
The federal government is currently conducting a series of workshops on cyber threats to SCADA systems.
ICT Minister, Helen Coonan, said these systems play a vital role in Australia's critical infrastructure describing them as the central nervous system for a vast array of sensors, alarms and switches that provide automated control and monitoring functions.
"Many supervisory and industrial control systems were designed before the Internet became widely adopted. As these systems are being connected to the Internet they are being exposed to emerging IT security threats," Senator Coonan said.
This point was central to a number of presentations made at AusCERT this year, the leading IT security conference for the Asia Pacific, which was held in May, 2007.
The government has been working with industry on the security of these systems under the auspices of the Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN), since 2005.
During the workshops a new information portal will be launched which will give Australian owners and operators of critical infrastructure a trusted environment for exchanging information and raise awareness of IT security issues.
At AusCERT White House staffer Marcus Sachs told conference attendees that control systems in decades past have traditionally been private, and not connected to the Internet.
This has certainly changed today as connectivity has grown, he said.
"Weak security protocols that characterize the Internet have now transferred to industrial control systems," Sachs said.
There is no authentication in most SCADA protocols.
- with Sandra Rossi