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January 8, 2018  |  by autov

Do you know how your signals are routed?

An AUTOSOL client called to discuss error issues in the diagnostic logger they saw in Autosol Communication Manager® (ACM). They also felt the communication polls from their server were unusually slow.

AUTOSOL support staff went to work investigating the issue. Thanks to an IP traceroute process, our product specialist was able to quickly discover an anomaly. Turns out, AUTOSOL saw that the signal was being routed from the pipeline field in North America, then mistakenly routed 5,000 miles to the European country of Hungary, and then relayed all the way back to the client’s SCADA control room in North America.

The client was not fully aware of how their signals were being routed. Since their pipeline communications service provider was using a cellular modem, their sensitive data was being transmitted across the internet without their awareness. The client thought their crucial data was safe but it was actually being exposed on the internet.

The problem with pipeline communication management:

Different sections of a pipe utilize a variety of service companies for communication. When a pipe starts on one side of the country and ends on another, various service providers will be contracted along its length to manage all the communications for the pipe. For some areas of pipe, the communications equipment may be using an internet service provider. For others, it could be a cellular company. The pipeline owner cannot control what the actions of these service company employees. Nor are they always aware of what mistakes might have been made with their communications setup.

With more than 35 years in business, AUTOSOL has seen the security of SCADA systems become more and more imperative. When SCADA systems were first developed, internet hacking was not the issue it has become today. The software engineers at AUTOSOL have developed a solution for this problem that encodes data from the field devices, all the way through transmission to the HMI network at headquarters.

To improve remote data communication’s cybersecurity for your SCADA system, reach out to the encryption experts at AUTOSOL today.