Making PV and Wind Power Plants Invisible in the Internet

Secure all-round carefree package

“We are very happy with the professional router MRX because it operates very reliable. If a technical problem occurs nevertheless, the support team of INSYS icom is always available with competent consulting. Therefore, the Smart Device of INSYS icom could be described with: buy once, install once, works!“

Mohamed Harrou
SCADA Engineer

BayWa r.e. Operation Services GmbH, München (D)

Added value for BayWa r.e.

  • All-round carefree package inclusive service & park monitoring
  • Increased IT security
  • Customer retention and satisfaction
  • Communication as a Service (CaaS)
Initial situation

BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH plans, builds and operates wind parks and PV plants on the whole worls and is furthermore responsible for their service and maintenance. Since the wind parks and PV plants are often far apart, remote maintenance is often considered.

However, the security requirements to the communication technology necessary for this are very high, because the plants for renewable energy are classified as critical infrastructures (KRITIS). Their exchange of sensitive data and protocols must be specially protected therefore.

Objective

The declared objective was to protect KRITIS plants from cybercrime with industrial communication technology and offer the customers an all-round carefree package.

  • Protecting from hacker attacks: preventing blackouts and possible claims for damages
  • Avoiding outages: suitable hardware for monitoring the whole switch cabinet
  • Reducing complexity: connection & monitoring by one single device
  • Increasing customer retention: development of a new service model
Solution

BayWa r.e. SystemSafe is a solution that consists of several components and will be rented to customers as Communication as a Service. Core of the switch cabinet is the Smart Energy Gateway MRX of INSYS icom.

  • This establishes an encrypted VPN tunnel via the cellular network from the plant to the VPN servers of BayWa r.e. and transmits the data of the renewable energy plants. Since the plant has neither direct Internet contact nor a static IP address so, it does not offer an attack surface for hackers.
  • In addition, an encrypted VPN access provided by BayWa r.e. permits that customers, plant managers or service technicians have always secure access to the BayWa r.e. servers. In case the technician has to access the plant in the field, he will communicate completely secure and encrypted up to the plant thanks to MRX and VPN tunnels.
  • Moreover, the MRX monitors all devices in the switch cabinet 24/7 and will dispatch faults or outages (e.g. mains failures) immediately via SMS, SNMP or e-mail.
  • Compared to customer devices, this industrial-grade hardware is more reliable, becuase it prevents communication failures and can be used world-wide (also with different temperature conditions).
Summary

SystemSafe provides plant operators and managers with service, hardware, Internet access, on-site assistance and standardises, remote-diagnosed fault analysis at one stop.

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