NICE introduces Situator platform for electric utilities

Ra’anana, Israel, October 06, 2010, NICE Systems, the worldwide leader of intent-based solutions that extract insight to impact business performance, reduce financial risk and ensure safety and security, today introduced NICE Situator for Electric Utilities. The new offering, based on the NICE open platform situation management solution, helps electric utilities meet the critical challenges of improving compliance, particularly with respect to NERC CIP, increasing the effectiveness of their security operations, and reducing operational costs. The new NICE solution includes pre-built content based on industry specific best practices. NICE also offers unique professional services for optimizing the utility’s situation management capabilities and overall security operations by identifying risk and developing policies and procedures and "Concept of Operation." The new NICE Situator solution for Electric Utilities will be demonstrated at ASIS International, October 12-15, in Dallas, Texas, NICE booth #3836.

One of the main challenges being faced by electric utilities in the United States today is ensuring effective security operations that can handle incidents in real time, with limited resources across hundreds of sites that are often equipped with thousands of monitored sensors and multiple disparate security and safety systems, including video, access control, perimeter intruder detection systems, audio recording and fire alarms. Being able to identify a threat or a problem in real time and to handle it effectively and efficiently is crucial. In addition, performing continuous reporting after the fact is tedious and time consuming. Ensuring that policies and procedures are being followed uniformly across the utility’s operations with limited budgets and manpower is extremely difficult.

Another challenge being faced by North American utilities in the US, Canada and Mexico is ensuring full compliance with The NERC CIP reliability standards for ensuring the physical security of critical cyber assets that control or effect the reliability of bulk electric systems. Non-compliance can result in fines as high as $1 million per day per violation, based on incident severity and a number of risk factors.

Mike Dunn, founder of GMD Security Consulting Services LLC and former Manager of Security at American Electric Power said, "With heightened security threats, reduced budgets, and ever-increasing compliance pressures, electric utilities today are faced with great challenges. Firms that implement a situation management solution which helps them consolidate 24/7 monitoring of disparate existing security systems, prescribe immediate response to event alarms, and automate documentation of response for future audit purposes, are best positioned to ensure an effective and efficient security operation, whether dealing with access violations, visitor management, outage management, systems maintenance/testing, or policy reviews."

NICE Situator enables efficient end-to-end handling of the incident’s full life cycle, by automatically triggering alerts, providing security personnel real-time guidance on required and optimal procedures, and enabling them later to retrieve the incident log along with all the supporting information for a complete and comprehensive report which includes when and where the alert had occurred, the relevant video and audio files, screen recordings, and logs from multiple third-party security systems.

"We are excited to launch NICE Situator for Electric Utilities, and enable these firms to ensure an effective and efficient security operation, while achieving full compliance with the stringent requirements of NERC CIP," said Israel Livnat, President, NICE Security Group. "We worked closely with industry experts to tailor the NICE solution to the specific needs of this market, providing a solution with procedures, forms, and business rules that are based on best practices as well as our extensive experience in deploying diverse compliance solutions for organizations across a broad variety of vertical industries all over the world. The complete package of unique capabilities, advanced technology and domain expertise makes NICE Situator the premier choice for electric utilities."

The NICE Security offering addresses the needs of governments and enterprises with intent-based solutions for fighting crime and terror, by anticipating, managing and mitigating safety, security and operational risks. The offering enables capture, analysis and correlation of data from multiple sensors and systems, including audio, video, radio, geo-location and web, providing a framework for fusing data silos into a single, holistic operational view. NICE Security solutions empower organizations to act effectively in real time to prevent, manage and investigate incidents, ensuring fast resolution and debriefing, and continuous security improvements. NICE Security solutions are deployed worldwide in transportation systems, critical infrastructures, city centers and enterprise campuses.