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Case Study:  Cyber Resilience for Energy Company Cuerva

Case Study: Cyber Resilience for Energy Company Cuerva

A leading Spanish-based Energy Company Cuerva is leveraging edge computing to digitize and optimize its operations to improve service delivery and foster the development of new energy models. This digital transformation also exposes them to cyber threats that could compromise their operations, data integrity and the reliability of energy supply to its customers.
April 16, 2024

Cybersecurity Challenges Across Renewable Infrastructure

With a diverse array of operations spanning hydroelectric plants, photovoltaic solar plants, wind farms, and an expansive electric power distribution network, they faced difficult multifaceted cybersecurity threats. These threats range from attacks on its energy production facilities to risks within its digital and IoT platforms. Cuerva required a cybersecurity solution that is both effective and non-intrusive, ensuring maximum protection without compromising the efficiency or sustainability of its operations.

EdgeLabs: Empowering Energy Cybersecurity 

AI EdgeLabs is designed to meet the Cuerva’s cybersecurity needs through its multifaceted approach, combining the Behavioral Activity Monitoring & Protect (modern eBPF) for monitoring of system calls, machine learning models for behavior analysis, network headers analysis for detecting a variety of attacks, and Yara signatures for identifying Linux-based malware and ransomware. The challenges facing the company were:

  • Resource Constraints: Devices operated with limited memory and CPU capacity.

  • Real-time Response: A cybersecurity framework that could swiftly detect and respond to threats locally, independent of cloud connectivity.

  • Complex Threat Landscape: The solution must effectively counter a broad spectrum of advanced cyber threats, including IPS, IDS, EDR, and NDR capabilities.

  • Bandwidth constraints: The EPUs are connected via a 5G connection with an average of 300 MB per month of bandwidth that could be allocated to supporting a cybersecurity solution. If the 300MB are used, then the devices will be cut until the next billing cycle hits. 

Implementation

In response to these challenges, Cuerva collaborated with AI Edgelabs to build a comprehensive security for their dispersed infrastructure. As a result, they got more than expected:

  • Lightweight Deployment: AI EdgeLabs' cybersecurity agents are designed for minimal resource usage, with each agent consuming only up to 700Mb of memory and 5% CPU usage. This lightweight footprint ensures that Cuerva’s energy production and distribution infrastructure operates at optimal efficiency, aligning with its sustainability goals.

  • Autonomous Operation: AI EdgeLabs' agents operate autonomously, ensuring continuous cybersecurity protection even without a cloud connection, vital for safeguarding facilities in remote or challenging environments, where connectivity may be sporadic.   
                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Edge Processing: AI EdgeLabs uses edge computing for data preprocessing, machine learning model inference, and response locally, reducing reliance on constant cloud connectivity. This aligns with the company’s digitalization strategy, enabling real-time on-site data processing, threat detection and response.

  • Rapid and Easy Deployment: AI EdgeLabs' containerized solution facilitated swift and effortless deployment of cybersecurity agents across Cuerva's diverse infrastructure, spanning wind farms to power distribution networks, with minimal configuration or maintenance needs.

  • Minimal Network Traffic: AI EdgeLabs' solution is engineered for low network traffic consumption, using only up to 300Mb of network traffic per month. This feature benefits Cuerva by minimizing bandwidth usage in distributed renewable energy and digitization projects, ensuring efficient operations.

    AI EdgeLabs has integrated via the Barbara IoT platform, simplifying the activation process and integrating edge-local NDR/EDR. Deployments can be effortlessly managed from the central portal on the Barbara IoT platform, encompassing all deployment and maintenance cycles for the Edge Security product suite.

Figure 1. The deployment scheme of AI EdgeLabs agents in Cuerva`s dispersed infrastructure

Outcome

Cuerva boosted security for its renewable energy  infrastructure and digital transformation initiatives with AI EdgeLabs' cybersecurity solution. Lightweight, efficient and autonomous, it shields against cyber threats while keeping operations smooth and sustainable. This aligns with the company's mission to provide clean, efficient, and dependable energy, cementing its leadership in the renewable energy sector.

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