GlobalSign News & Events

17 September 2012

Critical Infrastructure Providers Strengthen Cybersecurity by Implementing Standards-Based PKI

GlobalSign White Paper Details How the Energy Sector Is Securing Networks Based on Standards Developed by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB)

Boston, MA - September 17 2012 -GlobalSign (www.globalsign.com), the enterprise SaaS Certificate Authority (CA), today announced the release of a new white paper, "How PKI Secures Critical Infrastructure Networks Against Advanced Attacks." Authored by Lila Kee, GlobalSign chief product officer and North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) board member, the paper explains how Independent Systems Operators (ISOs), which coordinate, control and monitor electrical power system operations from state to state, are using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) standards developed by NAESB to strengthen security for their cyber-based business processes and transactions. Recent headlines and mounting evidence suggest that cyberattacks on Critical Infrastructure (CI) systems are increasing as cybercriminals have identified electric utility grids as prime targets for disruption activities. As a result, CI cybersecurity has become a prime concern for governments and citizens alike. The paper focuses on the history of the electric industry, how cybersecurity standards have emerged, what those standards are and how they can be used by other CI sectors to strengthen security and reduce the risk of harmful cyberattacks.

"PKI is a robust technology that provides a secure, scalable and cost-effective method to securely authenticate digital identities on large and complex networks such as those that manage business processes for the wholesale electric market. However, due to the many implementation details involved, if the technology is not executed correctly it can also produce a vulnerable system," said Kee. "NAESB members have worked together to produce a standard for the Wholesale Energy Sector that is based on best practices, proven management techniques and advanced digital certificate technologies."

In the wake of increasing attacks, U.S. CIs are stepping up efforts to amplify their cybersecurity and strengthen their defenses. In fact, the white paper notes that in President Obama’s recent Executive Order, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was directed to lead the effort to develop a cybersecurity framework that would consist of adopting industry best-practices wherever possible. "As part of NIST’s draft cybersecurity framework of best practices, guidelines and standards, the NAESB standard on PKI stands a good chance of being applied to other CI sectors," says Lila Kee.

All CIs are managed, controlled and accessible via Internet-connected systems, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. This white paper details how ISOs in the energy sector have recognized the value of cybersecurity frameworks, have adopted standards developed by NAESB and have demonstrated that standards can be developed using shared expertise from both the public and private sectors – setting a framework for all CI sectors.

"It has become increasingly clear that cybercriminals are targeting the critical infrastructure in an attempt to disrupt our way of life. For this reason, NAESB made it a priority to establish PKI standards in order to fortify our cybersecurity framework," said Rae McQuade, President of NAESB. "In establishing these standards we hope to provide a strong cybersecurity strategy so that we may best protect the business practices related to the electricity market that are a critical part of the everyday lives of our citizens."

To read GlobalSign’s white paper visit http://www.globalsign.com/resources/white-paper-how-pki-secures-critical-infrastructure-networks-against-advanced-attacks.pdf.

About GMO GlobalSign

GlobalSign, founded in 1996, is a provider of identity services for the Internet of Everything (IoE), mediating trust to enable safe commerce, communications, content delivery and community interactions for billions of online transactions occurring around the world at every moment.  Its identity and access management portfolio, acquired from Ubisecure in September 2014, includes access control, single sign-on (SSO), federation and delegation services to help organizations and service providers create new business models for customer and partner interactions.  The former Ubisecure operation is now the GlobalSign Center of Excellence for IAM, located in Helsinki, Finland. GlobalSign’s solutions are designed to address the massive scalability demanded by the emerging $14.4 trillion IoE market, where the ability to make secure networked connections among people, processes, data and things, will require that every “thing” have a trusted identity that can be managed.  The company has offices in the U.S., Europe and throughout Asia.  For the latest news on GlobalSign, visit www.globalsign.com or follow GlobalSign on Twitter (@globalsign ).

About GMO Cloud KK

GMO Cloud K.K. (TSE: 3788) is a full-service IT infrastructure provider focused on cloud solutions. Established as a hosting company in 1996, the company has managed servers for more than 130,000 businesses and now has 6,500 sales partners throughout Japan. In February of 2011, the company launched GMO Cloud to enhance its focus on cloud-based solutions. Since 2007, the company has also grown its GlobalSign SSL security brand through offices in Belgium, U.K., U.S., China and Singapore. For more information please visit http://ir.gmocloud.com/english/ .

GMO Internet Group

GMO Internet Group is an Internet services industry leader, developing and operating Japan’s most widely used domain, hosting & cloud, ecommerce, security, and payment solutions. The Group also comprises the world’s largest online FX trading platform, as well as online advertising, Internet media, and mobile entertainment products. GMO Internet, Inc. (TSE: 9449) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. For more information please visit http://www.gmo.jp/en/.

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