Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest AUTOSOL® Developments.

AUTOSOL | Canadian School of Hydrocarbon Measurement (CsHm) on March 12 & 13, 2019, in Calgary, Alberta

Learn about the latest in hydrocarbon measurement with AUTOSOL at CsHm. Look for vice president Suzzette Rainey, along with technical support manager Lee Cysouw and Richard Bourque, a product support specialist, in Exhibition Hall D, located in the TELUS Convention Centre, 120 Ninth Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 0P3.

Richard Bourque will be offering hands-on training. He will be showing how to poll measurement data from EFM devices, how to publish it, and how to use ACM’s new Archive Management to view the raw records and look for missing hourly or daily records. He will also go over Advanced Reporting and how it works.

The Canadian Institute of Hydrocarbon Measurement (CIHM) operates the Canadian School of Hydrocarbon Measurement (CsHm) to provide instruction on technical subjects, including proper facility design, installation, operation and maintenance of measurement and regulation equipment. The handling of natural gas is also presented and studied.

2019’s agenda includes these topics:

  • Practical large scale and hands-on demonstrations by vendors
  • Designing for implementation
  • Asset management
  • Cost control
  • Improving operating efficiency
  • Increasing compliance
  • Focusing your workforce on what matters
  • Building and maintaining relationships with colleagues, regulators, vendors and employers

For more information, please contact us or visit https://www.cshm.ca.

AUTOSOL | CCAMS Hydrocarbon Measurement School Feb 20-21, 2019 in Corpus Christi, Texas    

Come see AUTOSOL at the Corpus Christi Area Measurement Society’s Hydrocarbon Measurement School.

This year’s school consists of more than 60 lecture and hands-on classes with over 70 hours of instruction dealing specifically with natural gas, refined products, crude oil measurement and other hydrocarbon products. Class topics include subjects such as fundamental measurement and quality principles, and some more advanced hydrocarbon measurement topics as well.

AUTOSOL’s regional sales manager Chris LaFavers will be exhibiting Tuesday Feb. 20 through Wednesday Feb. 21, 2019.

You can attend classes and the exhibits at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel, 900 North Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401. For additional details visit http://www.ccams.info.

AUTOSOL announces new features to Autosol Communication Manager (ACM) in Build 302

AUTOSOL is announcing a feature-rich update to the SCADA software Autosol Communication Manager (ACM), making it easier to configure your system for optimum polling and publishing operations. The upgrades in Build 302 are found in virtually every aspect of ACM server components, as well as the ACM Configuration Client.

While many updates have been made, some of the most notable include:

ACM loads faster and offers a “fast filtering” option.

The new server directory allows easy access to multiple ACM instances. It also makes finding objects easier by not having to remember exactly which instance an object is configured in.

multiple server search filter box can be used to quickly narrow results. Any rows can be double-clicked to select an object. The client will automatically connect to the server and open the object for editing. It also selects the object in the database tree.

ACM’s new metadata feature allows system engineers to associate operational attributes with devices. This greatly enhances reporting by making use of filters to target data content based on intended recipients.

Our new Health and Status Dashboard will allow you to see any OPC tags you wish while viewing your configuration in the ACM Configuration Client.

Enhanced reporting offers real-time reporting without a client. You can create reports based on real-time items without having to use a separate client to advise items. Items can be advised internally using ACM’s alias group feature.

After items are added and groups are assigned to devices, the items will update according to the device’s configured schedule. The items’ values are then available in the ACM database by making use of the Persistent Item Data feature. This data is available for reporting.

It is also possible to create additional reports to those that are available on the report tab in the ACM Configuration Client. Reports can be customized to include data content based on the needs of the organization.

Reports are more useful if they can be automated. A new scheduled reporting feature provides this option.

  • Any report can be scheduled
  • Reports can be saved to a folder
  • Reports can be emailed
  • Emailing of reports is accomplished via SMTP server
  • Reports can be generated at intervals and by day of week

 

Archive management is a feature that provides a way to view various types of archive data. A summary process runs periodically to crunch data on a subset of hourly and daily records.

  • Shows which devices are behind
  • Detects and displays gaps in history
  • Provides a way to view raw archive history
  • Easily view meter characteristics
  • Helps to troubleshoot history collection issues

 

Summary data is made available on an interval basis for the last 45 days of hourly and daily data. The summary has powerful sorting and grouping features to get the most out of analytics. The summary process can be invoked manually if needed to get the latest data on demand. A right-click menu provides options for viewing different archive types.

History details are displayed in a matrix format with a master-detail relationship. All data that is collected by ACM is shown including internal tokens. Gaps are displayed in sequence where they are missing or can be sorted to float them to the top of the grid. Another option allows viewing of missing records only.

An ACM Mobile App will soon be released that will work on both Android and iOS platforms and features a multiple server search. Security components include a Device ID, PIN and encryption.

We recommend upgrading to this latest release to take advantage of the ACM new features and important improvements. For the FTP download instructions for Build 302, questions or requests regarding any new features in ACM, please contact your AUTOSOL representative.

For full details on Build 302, visit https://autosoln.com/products/acm/acm-release-notes/build-302.  To learn more about ACM, visit https://autosoln.com/products/acm.

David Blanco is an expert resource for S&P Global Market Intelligence Article About Cybersecurity

Deadly Massachusetts pipeline accident shows how cyberattack could target gas systems

Written By Sarah Smith, Energy Reporter at S&P Global Market Intelligence

While a recent series of explosions and fires in the Boston area was not caused by malicious forces, cybersecurity experts warn that the technology involved in the gas utility accident is a vulnerability hackers could target when trying to disrupt U.S. energy systems.

In the case of the Sept. 13 gas distribution system disaster in Massachusetts, federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, have focused on utility equipment that manages pipe flows. The ruptures on the system of Bay State Gas Co., which does business as Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, were caused by an overpressurization of the pipeline grid, possibly linked to pressure and flow sensors sending incorrect information to pressure regulation equipment. The utility is a unit of NiSource Inc.

Asked if hackers compromising sensors or regulators that determine flows on a utility’s supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, system could create a situation resembling the Massachusetts explosions, David Blanco, business development manager at cybersecurity firm Automation Solutions Inc., said Sept. 18 that it could. “Of course, my answer is completely based on my opinion and experience, but yes.”

Blanco pointed to a Turkish oil pipeline system that was compromised in 2008. In that instance, the hackers’ way into the SCADA system was through its surveillance system, using it as an entry point to manipulate information in the system that dictated what safe pressures looked like, ultimately resulting in an overpressured line, Blanco said.

“This attack demonstrated the skills of the hackers in controlling equipment, jamming communications, deleting the right records and suppressing alarms,” Blanco said. “Not only does this prove that hackers have the technical skills to be successful, but also that their goals include destroying [industrial control system, or ICS] equipment in the field.”

The NTSB said Sept. 15 that investigations into the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts explosions had found no evidence of “anything nefarious, anything suspicious, anything intentional associated with this disaster.”

‘Small destruction but big disruption’

Cyberattacks can compromise data availability, data integrity and data confidentiality, and any of these losses can have disastrous consequences for an ICS, Blanco said. This sort of breach would likely be more able to disrupt lives and lines of business than to completely destroy infrastructure, he added.

If cyber intruders were able to get into a SCADA system that monitors and controls pressures and valves and override the controls, the breaches would likely be “be small destruction but big disruption,” Blanco said. Blanco’s previous work has focused on cybersecurity issues for SCADA systems, including development and integration of SCADA technologies and systems.

“If a pipeline or refinery is destroyed after an attack, then the attackers will consider themselves very lucky. The goal of attacks … is disruption first, destruction second,” Blanco said. “[A] whole pipeline [doesn’t] need to be destroyed for the entire process to be disrupted.”

In the energy sector, infrastructure spanning hundreds of miles is often operated from remote locations, meaning hackers can compromise one site and then pivot to reach other parts of the system if the right protections and controls are not in place, Blanco said.

Barriers to breaches

A utility or other pipeline operator would likely have multiple layers of defense to prevent a breach of a single barrier from causing physical damage to the system, said Richard Kuprewicz, a pipeline safety expert and the president of consulting firm Accufacts Inc.

“A properly designed gas distribution system will not rely on SCADA to be the last line of defense against overpressure,” Kuprewicz said. “There are probably some pipeline operators cutting corners and over-relying on SCADA, but my experience would suggest darn few.”

Joseph Dancy, an energy-focused law professor at the University of Oklahoma, expressed concern that the dispersed nature of the energy system can leave certain critical infrastructure components, including pressure sensors and regulators, open to cyberattacks. Dancy co-authored a 2017 paper on the cybersecurity risks to oil and gas pipelines.

“A lot of the valves are computer controlled in the distribution system, and I’ve been in the control room of a gas system for a major city and seen them turn the valves up and down to adjust pressure,” Dancy said Sept. 18. “Even with the best controls and cybersecurity, I have been advised that almost any barrier can be breached with enough time and resources.”

 

This article first appeared on Thursday, 20 September 2018 12:50 PM ET. The original article can be found at https://platform.mi.spglobal.com/web/client?auth=inherit#news/article?id=46579155&cdid=A-46579155-10285.

To learn how to protect your endpoint devices from a cyberattack, visit our CryptoMod page to learn more.