The CyberSecure Monitoring solution by SolarEdge is among the world’s first integrated hardware-based cloud monitoring solutions for critical power infrastructure. It provides ultimate peace of mind for users by allowing to remotely track and analyze the performance of their UPS systems from outside the premise of the site, consequently eliminating system downtime without posing any cyber risk.
The solution includes a security dongle (the sender) that communicates to an external optical transmitter (a gateway), which is connected to the cloud via a segregated, independent cellular-based network. Harnessing optical physics, the security dongle, which acts as a data diode, physically ensures that data can only be transmitted by the UPS, and it’s impossible to alter or harm the performance of the UPS and the critical power equipment connected to it. Moreover, it ensures there’s no risk of organizational data corruption or stealing, nor exposure to ransomware attacks, because of vulnerabilities in the UPS system, contrary to the ever-posing risk with software-based cloud monitoring solutions.
Each gateway can support up to five UPS units, each with its own security dongle, allowing scalability and centralized UPS management.
The technology, previously only available for military applications, is now, for the first time, available for smaller businesses at an affordable price.
The CyberSecure Monitoring is designed to allow UPS alert notifications, performance tracking, and log analysis – all from outside the premise of the site without posing any cyber risk. Such a solution is suitable for any UPS application, but it’s particularly suitable for edge applications of larger organizations with multiple UPS systems, possibly spread across site(s), that do not have on-site staff looking at the systems 24/7. The product allows the organizations’ service companies to access UPS data remotely without granting them access to the corporate network.
The scope of effort included bringing together multiple technological disciplines to create an end-to-end solution. Initially, a research of different one-way communication technologies was conducted, including in-depth study of the optical technology that was ultimately implemented, balancing transmission distance, data rates, cyber penetrability, and cost.
Based on the technology selected, all system components, including a USB transmitter, receiving gateway, and cellular modem, were developed. To achieve this, system, electrical, and mechanical designs were done in tandem to solve product and implementation constraints. Software development was done on three different platforms: UPS, gateway, and AWS cloud, each with individual backend and front-end developments, and integrated together to create an end-to-end dataflow that is robust to communication failures, efficient in cellular data usage, and protects the UPS from all security risks.
Hardware qualification and software testing were done to verify product compliance and long-term functionality. The product was designed for mass production, and with the ability to be adapted to multiple installation scenarios and prolificate this unique solution across the UPS market.
Current remote UPS monitoring solutions are based on connecting UPS systems directly to the corporate network, relying on software protocols to ensure single-direction communication and avoid unsafe system manipulations. However, secure as it may be, no software is 100% vulnerability-free or hacker-proof. Programs are written and implemented by humans and are inherently imperfect. Therefore, direct network connection, which cannot physically block communication back to the UPS, poses a cyber-threat and jeopardizes power continuity and quality.
SolarEdge’s CyberSecure Monitoring provides protection by physics. It introduces a new concept of cloud monitoring connectivity with unparalleled safety. The hardware-based infrastructure eliminates communication back to the UPS, making sure no damage or alteration to the UPS or connected equipment can be done.
Similar technological concepts exist in other highly confidential industries, such as military, and are typically very expensive. Now, for the first time, a hardware-based, secure, cloud-monitoring solution is being introduced to the UPS market at an affordable cost.
Traditional critical power cloud-monitoring solutions are software-based and, therefore, hackable. Hence, businesses were typically reluctant to implement remote monitoring of their UPS systems in order not to compromise the cybersecurity of their equipment and data.
And, while technological solutions that can allow safe remote connection are available, they are often considered very expensive, thus limited for very few segments, usually military or government ones. Previously, affordable hardware-based solutions were nonexistent to the mission critical industry.
CyberSecure Monitoring is presenting a paradigm shift in cybersecurity for critical equipment and introduces a new standard for UPS operability. Facility/property managers, IT managers, and electrical infrastructure owners will now be able, without taking any cyber risk, to know at any given moment and place the status of their backup systems and take measures as needed. Also, actual consumption information, often not available, will now be conveniently communicated to them, allowing more robust operation and better planning.
Being able to remotely track and diagnose UPS systems offers tremendous value to all stakeholders and can transform the business of UPS service providers. They will be able to significantly reduce their costs by avoiding unexpected site visits, initiating proactive repair visits, and combining proactive repair visits with preventive maintenance activities or with other nearby visits.