Utilities Heighten Security Defense

Utilities Heighten Security Defense

With the risk of attacks, utility companies have increased security awareness.
They search for seamless protection to prevent irrecoverable losses.

Spanish Nuclear Power Plant Defended by Honeywell
The Spanish government instructed a security review at all Spanish nuclear power plants. They had to meet a mandatory norm of U.S. standards before an audit by the Spanish Nuclear Authority, the army and the police. Management at Spanish power plants Trillo and Almaraz asked Honeywell for help.

The Honeywell security solution provided access control, intrusion detection and digital video management, including surveillance and motion detection. This offered the operator a complete view of the security system through the integrated platform.

There are two control centers — mandatory requirement for such high-security operations — with a single point of control facilitating 24-7 surveillance. Security operators can see what is happening and control video cameras, while providing plant management with detailed insight on the physical security of their facility.

In line with nuclear power plant policy, two different systems protect the perimeter fence. The first comes from microphonic or microwave sensors along the entire length of it, while the second is provided by video motion detection. Any vibration or movements will trigger video recording. Digital surveillance cameras also monitor key points across each site. They capture the required footage automatically. Film can be viewed in real-time and historically. Entry into restricted areas is governed by the Honeywell system. Other benefits include heightened responsiveness, improved productivity, better asset utilization and lower life cycle costs over time.

Mate's Behavior Detection System Watching over Dams
A water authority looked for solutions to upgrade its defenses beyond physical fences and traditional video surveillance. The authority has many unmanned plants located at remote sites. One of its major concerns was to provide real-time warnings to anyone approaching the dams. This could involve people approaching over water by boat. Over land, the authority wanted to prevent trespassers from trying to climb certain structures. In addition, any video security system had to be unaffected by sudden changes of weather, or by wildlife movement.

Mate deployed "Behavior Watch," a proactive server-based behavior detection system able to receive up to eight analog camera feeds, streams from network cameras or existing video management software and NVR systems. The system was set up at key points around the facility to detect any intrusion attempts. Cameras observed wells, water pumps and ladders leading up to the tanks. At the end, the water authority greatly improved its response time to any perimeter breach attempt. It was also able to make this security upgrade at minimal additional cost, thanks to Mate's open architecture.

York Water Company Improves Security with Southwest Microwave
After Sept. 11, heightened security for water utilities became a pressing issue, pushing water companies to integrate sensor-enabled fences and other security solutions to monitor their facilities.

The York Water Company encompassed three separate facilities: one containing the filtration plant, one with the generator and an off-site pumping station. It chose Southwest Microwave's Intrepid solution to secure the sites.

Intrepid MicroPoint was installed on all three of the York Water Company's fences. The system could pinpoint cut-and-climb attacks to within 10 feet (three meters) of an occurrence and ignore harmless disturbances like wind, rain or vehicle traffic. It provided reliable detection, while preventing the nuisance alarms that plagued other fence sensors. The Intrepid system was integrated with cameras and an alarm monitoring system, so guards could visually identify threats anytime and anywhere along the fence.

With traditional fence detection sensors, fencing must be uniform across the protected area to achieve uniform intrusion detection. One of the Intrepid system's unique features is its patented "Sensitivity Leveling" capability, which compensates for variations in fence fabric or fence condition. This results in uniform detection of disturbances across the entire coverage area. Being able to add a sensor to their existing fencing without incurring the expense of pre-installation fence maintenance translated into significant cost savings for the York Water Company.

Texas Water District Deploys DVTel Access and Video Solution
The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is one of the largest raw water suppliers in the state of Texas, providing water to more than 1.6 million people in the North Central Texas area. Operations span a 10-county area and include maintaining dams at the water district's four reservoirs and more than 150 miles of pipeline used for water transport. It manages an extensive flood control system, featuring more than 27 miles of floodway levees.

TRWD deployed the unified DVTel solution at up to 30 different facilities, with video surveillance from approximately 150 cameras and management of more than 200 access control points. The district installed a 6-gigahertz wireless backbone with dedicated T-1 lines to ensure efficient, effective transmission of all data from the many different locations back to a main command center. Its goal was to improve its previous system with an integrated solution and a single point of control.

"Previously, we had four different software packages running in isolation of each other, not even popping video on alarm," said Norman Ashton, TRWD Risk Manager. "We needed a much smarter system."

Video surveillance provided excellent views of key facilities. The access control system restricted access to each facility for only authorized individuals at certain periods. The DVTel system enabled the TRWD to quickly lock down a single facility or the entire operation as needed.

Florida Water District Secured by Mobotix
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) manages and protects the water resources of south Florida. In the 1990s, the district built an analog surveillance system. After Sept. 11, the district looked for a more advanced security solution to meet new security requirements preventing water contamination, theft and vandalism. It decided to migrate to a new generation of network cameras with a wider variety of applications.

The system designed by Mobotix supported network data transmission. It contained an integrated computer with a Web server, along with cameras able to store hundreds of images directly on the cameras. The system reduced data volumes, because the cameras only recorded when triggered by an event, such as when a camera detected movement in the image field. Cameras could transmit alarms as well as the images to headquarters. They could also be programmed to send images at particular intervals.

The outdoor Mobotix MD10D secure dual-lens camera fulfilled the requirement of the IP 65 protection, making it an ideal choice for the extreme environmental conditions of heavy rain, heat and high humidity. As a result, all Mobotix cameras kept on working through three hurricanes without a single loss. The multiple lenses include single or dual, wide-angle or telephoto, and day or low-light, providing the flexibility to deploy the same basic camera for a wide range of varying light conditions.

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