September 2017

Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s wind turbine monitoring system is upgraded to NERC CIP standards for cyber security

Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s wind turbine monitoring system has just been successfully upgraded to fulfill the rigorous requirements of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) for cyber security of the North American electric utilities. This means Brüel & Kjær Vibro’s wind turbine monitoring solution, consisting of the DDAU data acquisition unit and the VibroSuite monitoring software platform, can be used in utilities throughout North America where there is a need for the utilities to comply with the stringent cyber security regulations.

For many years now NERC has been providing best practice guidelines and standards to ensure energy production is adequate and reliable to consumers throughout North America. In addition to this, NERC also makes standards to ensure production is secure, i.e. provide cyber security. NERC introduced and enforces the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Cyber Security Standards, commonly referred to as the NERC CIP Standards 002-009 version 6, which are designed to protect critical infrastructure assets that control or affect the reliability of North America’s energy production and distribution systems. It is not enough to just guard against accidents and natural disasters, it is also important to protect assets against cyber threats.

For a utility to comply with the NERC CIP standards a number of procedures were put into place to identify critical assets and their vulnerabilities, control and report access, require authentication, manage incidents, provide training, etc. NERC enforces utility compliance through auditing. An important part of NERC compliance is controlling the inbound and outbound network traffic to an asset. This can be implemented in various ways with varying levels of cyber security using firewalls, gateways or other security devices, and by setting restrictions on the direction of information flow.

“Our customer demanded the highest level of cyber security by asking us to implement the strictest NERC requirements, allowing only outbound network traffic from the wind park” says Carsten Andersson, Product Owner for the Brüel & Kjær Vibro wind turbine monitoring system and responsible for ensuring the NERC compliance. “But it wasn’t necessary to redesign our system from scratch. It was already designed to a large extent to accommodate this type of conversion. Now we can offer it as a modular retrofit package to other utilities so they can quickly upgrade their systems and comply with the requirements.”