Genetec Guides Utility Companies on Security System Support for NERC CIP Compliance

How to select a security system that supports compliance with NERC CIP

Genetec has published a guide for utility companies on how to select a security system that supports compliance with the Critical Infrastructure Protection plan (CIP) of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). The 12 published NERC standards are aimed at regulating, enforcing, monitoring and managing the security of the Bulk Electric System (BES) in North America. A subset of the full guidance follows.

CIP-002-5.1a: Cybersecurity – management controls. The goal is to categorize different BES Cyber Systems based on potential impact levels to understand how to manage vulnerabilities better and protect assets while regularly maintaining and reviewing them. Look for a security system that can provide an up-to-date breakdown of all connected devices and their statuses, to simplify the review process and quickly identify any that require immediate attention.

CIP-005-6: Cybersecurity - electronic security perimeter(s). This standard aims to secure access to BES Cyber Systems by keeping critical assets within a designated electronic security perimeter and closely monitoring them in case of suspicious activity. Organizations should ensure all security systems connected to the network infrastructure require secure authentication, encrypted communications, and users that have role-based permissions to access critical assets. Make sure an activity trail report of access is available to simplify investigations/audits.

CIP-008-6: Cybersecurity – incident reporting and response planning. To comply, put in place procedures to identify, classify, and respond to cybersecurity incidents and keep complete records of the incident and management process to report to the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) for forensic analysis. A centralized security system that keeps a complete log of network activity and access, as well as a full history of the asset configuration data, will simplify investigation and recovery when required. Utilities should look for technology partners that can provide emergency support in case of a catastrophic system failure or cyberattacks.

CIP-013-1: Cybersecurity – supply chain risk management. Utilities should aim to develop a plan to identify and assess risk to BES posed by vendor products or services. It is important to ensure all critical vendors that are supporting the smooth functioning of the BES have clear cybersecurity guidelines in place that will not put the BES at risk. Ensure system providers do not have access to your system by default without consent, particularly in system-to-system remote access. Here are six questions to ask vendors to manage supply chain risk better.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • EasyGate SPT and SPD

    EasyGate SPT SPD

    Security solutions do not have to be ordinary, let alone unattractive. Having renewed their best-selling speed gates, Cominfo has once again demonstrated their Art of Security philosophy in practice — and confirmed their position as an industry-leading manufacturers of premium speed gates and turnstiles. 3

  • ResponderLink

    ResponderLink

    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an Alarm.com company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3