Security plays a key role in Navy's energy grid upgrade

The service's industrial controls get smarter during its quest for "net zero" buildings, which brings cybersecurity into play.

It took the infamous Stuxnet malware, which attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities, to demonstrate the importance of cybersecurity in industrial systems.

“Stuxnet demonstrated that chillers are computers,” said Benga Erinle, president of Ultra Electronics 3eTI, during a session on critical infrastructure protection at the GovSec conference in Washington.

Erinle and Christopher Clark, a chemical engineer for the Naval Surface Warfare Center, spoke on the Navy’s implementation of a secure enterprise industrial control system, which is a computer-controlled system that monitors and controls industrial processes such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, building access and energy consumption.

Stuxnet, a worm discovered in June 2010 and believed to have been created by the United States and Israel, was the first discovered malware that spies on and subverts industrial systems. Stuxnet demonstrated that while industrial control legacy systems might not be directly connected to the Internet, they could be infected by USB hubs, cellphones and other devices connecting to the private network. Stuxnet was delivered via a key drive and disrupted uranium processing at the facility.

When it comes to legacy industrial systems, “you can’t install Symantec or McAfee on them,” said Erinle.

Securing the Navy’s energy grid is a key part of the department’s goal to lower its fossil fuel consumption, Clark said. One of the Navy’s mandates is to generate 50 percent of its shore energy from alternative sources and have 50 percent of its installations “net zero” by 2020, he said. A “net zero” building is one that annually has zero net energy consumption and carbon emissions.

However, as the old saw goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. The first step: ensure there are smart sensors and meters in facilities to determine where energy is being spent, Clark said. Once meters are in place, identify where upgrades would be the most effective and easiest to implement – the “low hanging fruit”; create a balanced power system by adjusting energy distribution to lower costs while meeting critical mission requirements; and develop methods of reusing energy, all within a secure environment, he added. 

“We have to start with knowing where the problem children are,” Clark said. “It really gets down to data. You are only as good as the metrics coming in.” With the energy review, the Navy found, for example, one facility running its HVAC from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. every day, Erinle said.

Naval buildings were built over many years, from the 19th century to recent times. One of the mandates of the program is to centrally manage these buildings within a common system.

The system “has to have central monitoring, visibility and be scalable,” to achieve energy cost reductions, Erinle said. It also needs to be affordable and accredited. Direct digital controls systems need to be integrated with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, physical surveillance, video analysis and intruder alert systems and access control.

Because the Defense Department “could not afford to run ‘dark fiber’ to every building it is leveraging secure wireless” for its enterprise industrial control system, Erinle said.

As a result of its efforts, the Navy is now on schedule to reduce its energy consumption by 35 percent.

But it wasn’t easy. There were many “knife fights,” Erinle said. Buildings and bases are scattered. The initiative required operators to submit asset inventories, some did not want to do because of the time, energy and cost involved. Determining who had ownership of the building and was therefore responsible for the task was another hurdle. Additionally, tenants of a secure building might not want outsiders doing assessments if they believed the assessors to not have the appropriate security clearance, said Clark.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.