Smart-grid firm Sensus has turned to IBM to enhance the data security capabilities of its network infrastructure. Sensus plans to integrate IBM’s encryption and...

Smart-grid firm Sensus has turned to IBM to enhance the data security capabilities of its network infrastructure.

Sensus plans to integrate IBM’s encryption and key management technologies into its FlexNet communications system for electric, gas and water utility smart endpoints, including meters and distribution automation devices. IBM’s software will enable Sensus to centralize and automate the encryption key management process for all network deployments.

“We have to look at security as a moving target,” said Matt Zafuto, vice president of strategic alliances at Sensus. “In the same way that we continually update a personal computer against new viruses, we have to be constantly vigilant of new threats against critical infrastructures, such as utility networks.”

“Energy and utility providers are continually looking for ways to better maintain the stability and security of their existing systems so they can better service customers and maintain operational efficiency,” said Doug Scheller, IBM’s global IUN smart metering solution leader for the energy and utilities industry. “By working with Sensus, we are able to introduce technologies such as encryption and key management into the smart grid market, to ensure the communication between smart meters and utilities is reliable, secure and uninterrupted.”

According to Zafuto, the IBM technologies will ensure a much higher degree of safety from any future threats. Sensus expects to have the new IBM encryption and key management functionality available to customers by early 2012.

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