Case Study: Converged IT/OT Cybersecurity Solutions

Subject: Cyber/RMF Services for Military Energy Management Control System

The Challenge:

During the installation of the Energy Management Control System, an operational technology (OT) control system that monitors and management utility consumption for building and other facilities, the client needed to ensure those sensors and control systems functioned properly with 3rd party software and scripts for automatically applying the Windows Server 2016, Internet Explorer 11, and the Windows Firewall Security Technical Implementation Guides.  When applied, these security guides ensure that cybersecurity and access control policies are applied IAW DoD requirements.  The client asked Sentar to work at their controls vendor site to apply the overlay, install the application, and test.  After applying the overlay, our cybersecurity engineer identified that he was unable to log into the Niagara 4 application form, rendering the system inoperable.  Instead of using the Air Force Operating System (OS) overlay, the Windows 2016 front end server was temporarily manually-hardened using the applicable security guides from the Defense Information Systems Agency.  But a long-term solution needed to be developed.

The Solution:

After only 8 hours of troubleshooting, Sentar’s cybersecurity engineer determined the cause, developed a solution, tested that solution, and documented new implementation steps.   To troubleshoot, a thorough analysis was conducted to recognize normal and failed login attempts, identifying successful login requirements in the process. The client and the controls vendor reviewed and approved the solution.  Our on-site team then deployed the solution, backing up the database on the operational server, applying the overlay, and successfully testing the new configuration resulting in the first-ever solution to this Service-wide problem.

The Mission Impact:

•     Ensured Compliance Without Jeopardizing Project Schedule: 

Sentar’s persistence to solve the application and client’s server overlay problem resulted in a fully functional and compliant system without delaying the project schedule and without adding troubleshooting costs to the future engineering change order.  The client is now using Sentar’s application and overlay solution to ensure the proper operation and security of energy management control systems across the ecosystem. 

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