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In February 2013, President Obama signed an executive order to help increase the cybersecurity of public utilities across the United States by protecting their critical IT infrastructure assets. While the executive order marked an important milestone in critical IT infrastructure protection, significant work lies ahead.

As recent articles highlight, flaws have been found in proprietary implementations of an existing standard communication protocol (DNP3) that is heavily used within public utility IT infrastructures today. Built from the DNP3 specification, these proprietary implementations, designed to enable secure machine to machine communication for control and data information exchange, have shown areas of vulnerability that could go undetected by public utilities and potentially open those utilities to significant cybersecurity issues. These weaknesses were recently uncovered by researchers working to build an open source version of the DNP3 specification known as OpenDNP3.

The OpenDNP3 community project was established in an effort to develop a high quality, enterprise-ready, secure and open source version of the DNP3 specification that the utility industry could take advantage of without concerns of cybersecurity. Red Hat's commitment to building and maintaining open source communities, has led Red Hat to join the OpenDNP3 community project, and serve as a corporate member of the DNP Users Group. Collaborating with Automatak, a leader in industrial strength collaboration and a corporate sponsor to OpenDNP3, Red Hat will work to enhance the evolution of OpenDNP3 solutions.

With Red Hat’s expertise in developing and maintaining open source communities, Red Hat will support the secure and open development of the OpenDNP3 community project in an effort to enable a vibrant, product ecosystem of developers, partners and end users. Red Hat also hopes their involvement will show partners and customers how to leverage open source solutions to aid in providing IT infrastructures of public utilities that are secure and robust.

More information on DNP3 can be found at www.dnp.org. More information on OpenDNP3 can be found at www.automatak.com/opendnp3. For more on Red Hat's utilities practice, email utilities@redhat.com.


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