T&D World Magazine

OSI Releases ISIS Serial Security Solution

Open Systems International, Inc. has released ISIS (Inline-Serial-Information-Shield), its comprehensive security solution for utility industry serial communications channels. Part of the new OSI Security Shield suite of products, ISIS is a fully NERC-, FERC- and NIST-compliant serial security solution, specifically designed to quickly and seamlessly integrate with the existing serial communications infrastructures currently used by the electric, gas, water, transportation and chemical processing industries.

In response to growing domestic and international concerns over potential cyber security threats and vulnerabilities—and to a critical lack of suitable industry products—OSI has launched a comprehensive new development initiative, intended to provide a series of complex hardware and software based security solutions to a group of industries in significant need.

ISIS applies a wide range of regulatory-focused features and benefits to existing serial communications infrastructures; including user-configurable 128, 192 and 256-bit serial data encryption, based on the U.S. Government adopted Advanced Encryption Standard (AES); symmetric key encryption algorithms, as required by the NIST Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2, Security Level 2; as well as NERC CIP mandated time-stamping and nonvolatile memory storage of multiple security logs and event types that include: privilege drops, configuration changes, reboots, password changes and new encryption key modifications.

Following a hassle-free installation, ISIS is designed to be effectively monitored and operated from a central location over the same channel as protocol traffic; allowing security and event logs to be sent to and consolidated at the master control unit; and for encryption keys and password changes to be easily managed without requiring additional communications pathways or the time and cost intensive process of sending staff and equipment to remote locations.

With minimal impact on communications performance, ISIS supports all major serial-based communications protocols and critical control system end-devices; offering a generic solution for legacy, bit-oriented protocols; and utilizing single and multi-drop protocols at rates that range from 300 to 115.2k baud.

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