Tropos Networks, a provider of reliable private wireless IP broadband networks, announced that the newly released Tropos Mesh OS Release 7.7 is capable of enabling enterprise class security to field area networks for the smart grid and other large scale industrial applications.
The company claimed the new release is also the first IPsec-based, NERC CIP compliant solution that extends secure wireless communications through substations to distribution automation endpoints such as recloser, capacitor bank and voltage regulator controllers.
The Tropos Mesh OS is designed to offer the routing intelligence for the Tropos System Architecture and is an integral part of each Tropos router. It includes RF resource management algorithms such as dynamic channel selection, per-packet transmit power and data rate selection and adaptive noise immunity allow for resilient communications even in the presence of interference.
Tropos Mesh OS’ multi-layer security model builds on open industry standards, including 802.11i and FIPS 140-2, to securely support mission-critical applications.
Using the integrated support for IPsec, the Tropos GridCom field area networks can extend the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) compliant security from utility data centers via substation to the wired interfaces of Tropos mesh routers that connect distribution automation endpoints to the network.
Some other features of the IPsec implementation include multi-homing so that Smart Grid endpoints can securely connect to more than one data center, providing redundancy and increasing availability and Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) support enabling traffic for different applications to be segregated with each VLAN maintaining its own address space, quality of service policies and security policies.
Tropos' IPsec support is supposed to extend enterprise-class security into the utility distribution network, securing Smart Grid devices and applications. It offers an open standards-based solution for extending secure wireless communications networks beyond substations, to devices such as such as switches, sectionalizers, reclosers and capacitor banks located on distribution feeders.
Officials with Tropos commented that Tropos Mesh OS Release 7.7 makes it easier for utilities to meet and exceed cyber security requirements. Tropos customers can quickly and simply secure their networks by configuring any Tropos mesh router to function as an industry-standard VPN endpoint.
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Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell