The security of the electrical grid and associated control networks is important to local and regional government as well as the military. By being responsible for a large percentage of its own energy requirements (and therefore partially off the grid) the Marine Corps’ TwentyNine Palms base is able to reduce its risk of losing operations due to an accidental power outage or attack to the grid.
An energy generation plant that’s connected to the Internet is by definition vulnerable. And a base connected to that plant via the grid is vulnerable, too.
If you think it’s not possible to hack into an energy network and wreak havoc, think again. Here’s a link to a video showing a generator being damaged by hacking into it, knowing only its DNS address (it is a Homeland Security demonstration of vulnerability conducted at the Department of Energy’s Idaho Labs, not a real hacking attack).
This was in 2007. Hackers have become far more organized and effective since that time, including state actors with geopolitical objectives.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the strategic move by the Pentagon to become more independent of the grid and highlights the installation at Twentynine Palms. In fact, the article mentions our partner, Johnson Controls near the end of the item as having control of the entire facility from a control room where, “Technicians monitor equipment settings and temperatures in buildings with gear from Johnson Controls Inc., reducing complaints about hot rooms. Motion sensors and high-efficiency lighting cut electricity consumption.”
You can read the WSJ article here- http://online.wsj.com/articles/hacker-terrorist-threats-spur-bases-to-build-power-grids-1413920177
And the network that connects it all (for more than 200 buildings and facilities)? Designed and installed by RESOLUTE Partners in partnership with Johnson Controls. Together, we provided a wireless network to replace and expand an unreliable fiber optic network. You can read our case study here- Twentynine Palms Case Study.
RESOLUTE Partners delivers cost effective solutions to securely connect buildings and energy management and generation infrastructure for campuses – whether military, college, office or MDU. For large-scale networks our secure wireless networks outperform fiber optic networks in terms of reliability, security and cost-effectiveness.
If you need a secure network for your energy management systems or to support a microgrid, please contact us here for a complimentary consultation.