Utilities and Smart Grid

Critical infrastructure security

Secure devices, secure infrastructure

Utilities and smart grid cybersecurity

Utility providers use smart grid devices to efficiently tailor power generation to power consumption. These connected devices have many data endpoints, where data is transmitted from one device to another. Futurex provides cryptographic solutions you can deploy quickly to secure data endpoints and manage security infrastructure. Our encryption services for utilities providers protect your most sensitive data from natural disasters and cyber threats of any scale.

  • HSMs perform encryption functions
  • Key management servers establish CA and PKI for digital signing
  • Cryptographic management services handle load balancing, device grouping, failover
  • Deployment options include on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid model
  • Automated failover, disaster recovery, and tamper-responsivity
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Sensitive info: CEUD

Connected devices such as smart meters monitor consumer energy usage data (CEUD) within buildings. Smart meters send CEUD to processing hubs that analyze the data to update utility provider operations in real-time.

Sensitive info: PII

Utility companies store personally identifiable information (PII) about their customers, such as names, phone numbers, and billing details. With the CEUD captured from smart meters, PII is a high-value target for cybercriminals.

The challenges facing utilities and smart grid cybersecurity

Utility companies and smart meter manufacturers are charged with securing highly sensitive information. Consumer energy usage data (CEUD) is passively captured from residences and businesses, while customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) is actively captured. Utility companies must secure data endpoints of connected devices to prevent tampering. Of equal importance is enterprise device management, especially when dealing with vast infrastructures.

  • Secure data endpoints of networked devices, like smart meters
  • Manage large networks of connected devices
  • Protect CEUD and PII stored within databases
  • Harden infrastructure against tampering, cyberattacks, and natural disasters

Futurex solutions for utilities and smart grid cybersecurity

Futurex provides every type of encryption, key management, and device management functionality through our market-leading HSMs and key management servers. We offer flexible deployment: on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. This helps utility providers and device manufacturers fulfil specific use cases or deploy entirely new infrastructure. Futurex solutions make it easy to establish the CA and PKI needed to create a network of trusted devices.

  • Key management servers: encryption key lifecycle management
  • Certificate authority (CA): establish PKI, digitally sign objects, manage certificates
  • HSMs: logically and physically secure, FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated encryption
  • Central device management with user-defined groups and load balancing

The challenges facing cloud key management and BYOK

Providers of critical power infrastructure benefit from the scalability and versatility of cloud cryptography. It eliminates the need for on-premises device management. However, the data handled by utilities providers is highly sensitive. Providers need to access and control their encryption keys locally. An external key management (EKM) or bring your own key (BYOK) solution is needed.

  • Achieve scalability and efficiency with cloud cryptography
  • Reduce on-premises management costs
  • Maintain high level of security
  • Control and encrypt keys locally

Futurex solutions for cloud key management and BYOK

Using a Futurex BYOK solution allows utilities and 5G providers to leverage the power of cloud cryptography while maintaining total control over their encryption keys. Futurex provides external key management (EKM), BYOK, and client-side encryption (CSE) services. Your organization’s keys are stored in FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated HSMs which you deploy on-premises or via Futurex’s VirtuCrypt cloud service.

  • 256-bit AES keys with user-defined rotation policies.
  • CSE: encrypt data locally before transmitting and storing it
  • Bring your own key (BYOK) and external key management (EKM)
  • Fast and easy setup using VirtuCrypt Intelligence Portal (VIP)
Asymmetric encryption

Futurex key management servers use a certificate authority to generate asymmetric key pairs: a public and private key. This allows devices like smart meters to transmit data over public networks like the internet by using a public key.

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Universal compliance

All Futurex HSMs are FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified and meet the highest levels of compliance. With both physical and logical security controls built in, Futurex HSMs are recognized as secure cryptographic devices (SCDs).

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Enterprise key management

The Futurex key management servers manage key lifecycles. They secure private keys, forming the basis for public key infrastructure (PKI) and an offline root certificate authority (CA). This enables device and code signing.

Our key management servers

In the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid of both: Futurex delivers tailored cryptographic solutions to fit your business needs.

 

Any cryptographic function. Any size. Any scale. Any location.

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Certificate authority (CA)

IoT device manufacturers can use Futurex enterprise key management servers to establish a PKI to secure private keys and create an offline root certificate authority (CA). The offline root certificate establishes a working certificate that can digitally sign smart meters and code and can authenticate CEUD to prevent unauthorized access to utility networks of IoT devices. Like the PKI, having a CA in your security infrastructure is essential to protecting connected utility devices and mitigating cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Public key infrastructure (PKI)

A Public Key Infrastructure allows users or devices to securely transmit sensitive data over insecure public spaces such as the internet, using asymmetric key pairs consisting of a public and private key. The data is transmitted with a public key and then decrypted with the private key in a secure environment. The PKI encrypts and authenticates this data, enabling the receiving entity to trust the integrity of the data.

Public key infrastructures use public and private key pairs generated and distributed by a trusted device known as a certificate authority (CA). Certificate authorities, often validated by third-party auditors, generate digital certificates and assign them to the electronic devices that make up the PKI.

IoT signing

A certificate authority (CA) forms the root of trust within a cryptographic infrastructure. The CA can digitally sign objects with cryptographic signatures to validate data and devices. Devices on both the sending and receiving ends are authorized under a common certificate tree to share data, such as smart meter configurations.

Tokenization

Tokenization replaces sensitive data with a string of identifying characters, known as tokens, for storage. Two common approaches to tokenizing data are hash-based message authentication code (HMAC) and encryption-based. Users prefer the encryption method in cases where they need to reverse the tokenization for any reason. Tokenization effectively removes the burden of multiple parties storing sensitive data in the clear while still allowing easy access to authorized applications and users.

Futurex utilities & smart grid solutions portfolio

Cloud Key Management (BYOK & BYOE)
Use our powerful and easy-to-use data protection platform to employ BYO key and encryption services.
Issuing CA
Protect an issuing CA by using hardware-based key management solutions with PKI functionality and third-party integration.
Code Signing
Securely distribute code and establish trust between apps with on-premises and cloud HSMs and turnkey solutions.
Offline Root CA
Take advantage of an all-in-one solution to guarantee the integrity of your PKI with a secure, offline root CA.
IoT Signing
Create a CA and PKI to secure your IoT devices from the floor or the field with digital certificates and signatures.

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