Download PDF version Contact company

Securing economic expansion

Chile is without a doubt one of the largest exporters of copper in the world, something that accounts for its strong trade relations with the emerging economic superpower, China. Despite these rich mineral deposits and promising dealings, Chile has a limited supply of energy resources and has therefore taken a number of progressive steps in support of renewable energy sources. Consequently, wind farms are popping up all over the country. Naturally ensuing this development are the means to monitor and secure these highly important areas.

Near the town of Los Vilos, the two wind farms have recently been built. They share a video surveillance system from the systems integrator, Dessin Electrónica Ltda., and TKH Security Solutions USA, the manufacturer of advanced global video surveillance solutions. This new surveillance system includes an array of cameras, sensors, communication systems, viewing and management workstations, and network video recorders (NVR). It is intended to monitor the wind turbines and manage the farm’s perimeter for security purposes.

Centralized oversight

Using Siqura high-speed PTZ IP dome cameras to monitor every two or three wind turbines, video streams are sent to a central control room. The system is configured with video motion detection, and motion sensors are connected to the cameras’ input/output ports. This makes it possible to alert operators in the control room of unusual or suspicious occurrences.

Siqura cameras are also mounted at various points along the perimeter of the wind farm terrains, including the main entrances and visitor viewing areas. In addition to image material, audio streams are sent to Siqura S-60 D decoders, allowing for public announcements to be made over an intercom system.

From the control center, security personnel keep a close eye on the situation and take action when necessary through the video management system, Siqura VMS Pro.

Siqura VMS Pro is a multiserver, multi-user IP surveillance management system used for monitoring real-time and recorded video, audio, and text data, and to control cameras and I/O devices. The software supports surveillance systems consisting of digital IP cameras, video servers, and recorders in IP surveillance networks. Through the intelligent search options and event handling included in Siqura VMS Pro, relevant recordings will be saved on one of two hardware network video recorders (Siqura i-NVR).

Via this centralized VMS system, operators can view live video, search recordings, and manage intrusion, access, and deterrence controls. Ultimately, this enables personnel to ensure the immediate safety of the wind farm and its employees and visitors, as well as to use video images for forensic verification if required.

Ensuring a successful surveillance solution

air turbine 
 Siqura cameras are mounted at various points along the perimeter of the wind farm terrains

With such a multifaceted system, engineers from Dessin and Siqura did extensive testing throughout the design and implementation stages of the project to ensure its success. The initial testing was carried out at Dessin’s own testing facilities and entailed a demonstration of the system to the end-user. Thereafter, Dessin and Siqura tested the system at the wind farms upon implementation, giving the systems integrator and manufacturer the opportunity to fine-tune the network’s configuration. The ultimate solution was tested in a final demonstration for the end-user’s management team, with gratifying results.

Due to the success of this surveillance network, it is being replicated in other important power and distribution plants throughout Chile.

Powering progress

In a country rife with minerals and natural resources, having enough energy is critical to fuel economic growth. However, in order to have enough energy, Chile has had to get innovative. As a result, alternative sources of energy are becoming increasingly popular and wind power is now widespread throughout this Andean nation.

Ensuring the safety and security of these wind farms is therefore vital to progress. Through working together, companies like TKH Security Solutions USA and Dessin are able to help protect the people and property at these modern power plants, guaranteeing that the economy is free to grow and expand.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What Is The Impact Of Remote Working On Security?
What Is The Impact Of Remote Working On Security?

During the coronavirus lockdown, employees worked from home in record numbers. But the growing trend came with a new set of security challenges. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the transition to remote working/home offices on the security market?

Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security
Water Plant Attack Emphasizes Cyber’s Impact On Physical Security

At an Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment facility on Feb. 5, an operator watched a computer screen as someone remotely accessed the system monitoring the water supply and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million. The chemical, also known as lye, is used in small concentrations to control acidity in the water. In larger concentrations, the compound is poisonous – the same corrosive chemical used to eat away at clogged drains. The impact of cybersecurity attacks The incident is the latest example of how cybersecurity attacks can translate into real-world, physical security consequences – even deadly ones.Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. The computer system was set up to allow remote access only to authorized users. The source of the unauthorized access is unknown. However, the attacker was only in the system for 3 to 5 minutes, and an operator corrected the concentration back to 100 parts per million soon after. It would have taken a day or more for contaminated water to enter the system. In the end, the city’s water supply was not affected. There were other safeguards in place that would have prevented contaminated water from entering the city’s water supply, which serves around 15,000 residents. The remote access used for the attack was disabled pending an investigation by the FBI, Secret Service and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. On Feb. 2, a compilation of breached usernames and passwords, known as COMB for “Compilation of Many Breaches,” was leaked online. COMB contains 3.2 billion unique email/password pairs. It was later discovered that the breach included the credentials for the Oldsmar water plant. Water plant attacks feared for years Cybersecurity attacks on small municipal water systems have been a concern among security professionals for years. Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.” “The incident at the Oldsmar water treatment plant is a reminder that our nation’s critical infrastructure is continually at risk; not only from nation-state attackers, but also from malicious actors with unknown motives and goals,” comments Mieng Lim, VP of Product Management at Digital Defense Inc., a provider of vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions.The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online “Our dependency on critical infrastructure – power grids, utilities, water supplies, communications, financial services, emergency services, etc. – on a daily basis emphasizes the need to ensure the systems are defended against any adversary,” Mieng Lim adds. “Proactive security measures are crucial to safeguard critical infrastructure systems when perimeter defenses have been compromised or circumvented. We have to get back to the basics – re-evaluate and rebuild security protections from the ground up.” "This event reinforces the increasing need to authenticate not only users, but the devices and machine identities that are authorized to connect to an organization's network,” adds Chris Hickman, Chief Security Officer at digital identity security vendor Keyfactor. “If your only line of protection is user authentication, it will be compromised. It's not necessarily about who connects to the system, but what that user can access once they're inside. "If the network could have authenticated the validity of the device connecting to the network, the connection would have failed because hackers rarely have possession of authorized devices. This and other cases of hijacked user credentials can be limited or mitigated if devices are issued strong, crypto-derived, unique credentials like a digital certificate. In this case, it looks like the network had trust in the user credential but not in the validity of the device itself. Unfortunately, this kind of scenario is what can happen when zero trust is your end state, not your beginning point." “The attack on Oldsmar’s water treatment system shows how critical national infrastructure is increasingly becoming a target for hackers as organizations bring systems online for the first time as part of digital transformation projects,” says Gareth Williams, Vice President - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Thales UK. “While the move towards greater automation and connected switches and control systems brings unprecedented opportunities, it is not without risk, as anything that is brought online immediately becomes a target to be hacked.” Operational technology to mitigate attacks Williams advises organizations to approach Operational Technology as its own entity and put in place procedures that mitigate against the impact of an attack that could ultimately cost lives. This means understanding what is connected, who has access to it and what else might be at risk should that system be compromised, he says. “Once that is established, they can secure access through protocols like access management and fail-safe systems.”  “The cyberattack against the water supply in Oldsmar should come as a wakeup call,” says Saryu Nayyar, CEO, Gurucul.  “Cybersecurity professionals have been talking about infrastructure vulnerabilities for years, detailing the potential for attacks like this, and this is a near perfect example of what we have been warning about,” she says.  Although this attack was not successful, there is little doubt a skilled attacker could execute a similar infrastructure attack with more destructive results, says Nayyar. Organizations tasked with operating and protecting critical public infrastructure must assume the worst and take more serious measures to protect their environments, she advises. Fortunately, there were backup systems in place in Oldsmar. What could have been a tragedy instead became a cautionary tale. Both physical security and cybersecurity professionals should pay attention.

How Have Security Solutions Failed Our Schools?
How Have Security Solutions Failed Our Schools?

School shootings are a high-profile reminder of the need for the highest levels of security at our schools and education facilities. Increasingly, a remedy to boost the security at schools is to use more technology. However, no technology is a panacea, and ongoing violence and other threats at our schools suggest some level of failure. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have security solutions failed our schools and what is the solution?