NERC CIP Integrated Solution

Inventory, Configuration Management, Vulnerability Assessment, Change Control and CIP Reporting for the Bulk Electric System (BES)

The products provided by NovaTech, Tripwire and PAS are interconnected as shown above. The enterprise products reside on corporate servers, each product on a separate server, or consolidated on a single server per user preference. Secure user access to these servers, plus secure remote access to critical assets in control centers, generation plants and substations is ensured through fully monitored and encrypted broadband connections.

OrionLX “Cyber Security Gateways” in substations and generation plants are equipped with software modules to communicate securely with upstream servers. Syslog data are streamed to Tripwire Log Center and critical asset configurations are automatically transferred to the PAS Cyber Integrity server, all over a secure 128-bit encrypted connection. Secure remote, manual engineering access can also be made through this link. Substation Automation software can be added to the OrionLX enabling it to perform additional roles as substation RTU, Math and Logic Processor, Alarm Annunciator, Sequence of Events Recorder or Substation HMI.

Functional Summary

Meeting NERC CIP Requirements  -002 through 011 requires action by both the utility and by solutions providers. The solution provided by NovaTech and our partners perform the following functions.

Access Management

  • Secure Remote Access includes encrypted connection between substation IEDs and enterprise users.
  • User Password Management includes centralized password administration, two-factor authentication, individual users privileges, and role-based access controls
  • IED Password Management includes password change management, support for multiple password levels, and password checkout.

Vulnerability Assessment (once per year)

  • Device Discovery includes active scan of Ethernet devices and discovery of serial devices attached to the OrionLX Security Gateway
  • Open Port Scan includes active scan of open TCP and UDP ports
  • Workflow includes specific steps as required by vulnerability procedure
  • Evidence Capture includes the “proof” to show assessments meet latest NERC CIP-010 V5 requirements.

Configuration Management (continuous)

  • Inventory includes tools for discovery, characterization and classification of cyber assets.
  • Configuration Baseline includes database of critical asset “configurations”; settings files, logic files, custom pages, installed packages, etc.
  • Configuration Change Monitoring includes retrieval of asset configurations from substations, highlighting of changes against Baseline, identification of who made the change, etc.
  • Configuration Policies includes definition of what should be in all assets of a given type; patches, firmware versions, relay settings, etc.

Monitoring and Analysis

  • Security Logging (syslog, etc.) includes collection of logged data from devices in substations, generation plants and control rooms.
  • “SIEM” Security Incident and Event Management includes correlation, visualization, and trend analysis of logged data.
  • Alerts for Unauthorized Changes includes notification to responsible personnel and automatic incident response workflow.


  • Change Testing includes capture of test results and update of configuration policies.
  • Change Implementation includes scheduling, approving and deploying changes, plus reconciling actual changes to approved changes.
  • Patch Assessment includes process for assessing patches for applicability and coordinating patch updates.
  • Incident Response includes workflow triggered automatically based on unreconciled detected changes.
  • Periodic Review includes automatic initiation of a date-based review and approval workflow.

  • NERC CIP Cyber Security Solutions

    Tripwire and NovaTech jointly present on security solution to meet the latest NERC CIP requirements including Access Management, Security Monitoring, Configuration Management, and Event Analysis.

    March 18, 2016

  • NovaTech Utility Systems and Services

    Almost half of NovaTech’s business is in Systems and Services including web page design, panel design, math and logic development, Orion configuration, and onsite installation and commissioning. Mark Matassa explains how our engineers can work with you to reduce project execution time at the 2016 DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida.

    March 18, 2016

  • NERC CIP Identity and Password Management Software

    This video describes the key features of the NovaTech Identity Manager (NIM) and NovaTech Connection Manager (NCM) products. NovaTech Identity Manager is a Linux LDAP/IPA application for managing users and passwords for OrionLXs and Schweitzer relays to the latest NERC CIP Version 5 requirements. NovaTech Connection Manager establishes a secure connection to OrionLXs and Schweitzer relays in the substation.

    April 29, 2015

  • Review of the New NERC CIP-10 and CIP-11 Webinar

    Within the next two to three years, it is likely that two new NERC CIP requirements will go into effect:
    1. CIP-010-1: Cyber Security – Configuration Change Management and Vulnerability Assessments
    2. CIP-011-1: Cyber Security – Information Protection
    This webinar was held on August 22, 2013. The presentation focuses on learning more about why these were created, where they will be required in the BES, and the latest solutions to address them.The webinar is hosted by Jeremy Anderson, Senior System Engineer. Prior to joining NovaTech, Jeremy designed and implemented a complete NERC CIP compliance system at a southwest US IOU.

    April 6, 2015

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