The risk that cyberattacks pose to operational technology (OT) – the physical valves, pumps, machines, systems and networks used to generate, transmit and distribute power for electrical utilities, water treatment plants, oil and gas pipelines and other critical infrastructure – is increasing in frequency and potency as hackers’ ability to control OT grows. A successful attack on these OT systems can cut access to critical nationwide resources and inflict severe financial, environmental and structural damage.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) created Binary Armor® to prevent these attacks. SNC’s Binary Armor provides critical, real-time, endpoint cybersecurity. Its patented “functional whitelisting” technology stops both internal and external threats from reaching OT, including malware and intentionally unsafe or erroneous instructions that cause motors to spin too fast, valves to open or close at inappropriate times, or switches to turn out of sequence. By allowing only pre-approved, known, safe messages to reach OT, Binary Armor protects against insider threats, human error and enforces workflow to reduce the likelihood of equipment damage and personnel injury.

The Ukrainian attack, by itself, demonstrated the vulnerability of electrical grids. It is no surprise then that a 2019 survey of utilities conducted by Siemens and the Ponemon Institute found that, “[T]he majority of global utilities surveyed say, “cyber threats present a greater business risk to their OT than their IT environment. Utilities are concerned by the unique characteristics of OT environments, including a focus on availability, reliability and safety.”

The City of Fort Morgan, Colorado installed Binary Armor to protect it electric utilities in 2014. Doug Linton, Superintendent of the Fort Morgan Light & Power Department stated, “As a municipality, we are committed to protecting our operational technology systems from increasingly sophisticated and malicious hackers. As a mid-size utility, Binary Armor provided our City an affordable and simple solution for the complex problem of OT protection.”

Pete Fischer, Senior Director Programs at SNC stated, “SNC and the Binary Armor team is proud of our track record protecting utility SCADA and control systems in Fort Morgan and beyond since 2014. What is more, we are pleased that utility partners are confident in the U.S. Department of Defense and other certifications along with demonstrated results achieved by Binary Armor. We always say you don’t have to take our word about Binary Armor, but you can trust the demanding certifications Binary Armor has achieved.”

The Binary Armor engineering team has extensive experience developing solutions that enhance national security. Comprised entirely of individuals holding security clearances, the Binary Armor team can deliver solutions for protecting the most sensitive utility systems and sites. The Binary Armor team stands ready to protect our critical grid infrastructure and our quality of life.

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