July 20, 2021

NATIX Zone Security Supervision Integration at E.DIS

NATIX has been operating a pilot project in close collaboration with E.DIS with the aim to test the protection of E.DIS critical infrastructure — the substation in the E.DIS network area using NATIX intelligent camera system.

The pilot project has been running in an E.DIS substation in the Oder-Spree district of Brandenburg since mid-May. In the current test phase, we will help E.DIS adapt the new AI camera system to their special requirements and test and further develop it on site. The aim is to create a solution that can be adapted to any desired location in a simple, cost-efficient, and resource-saving manner. The test location was not chosen by chance — in Oder-Spree, E.DIS has a network connection point to the high-voltage network of the upstream transmission system operator. After the pilot phase, securing all E.DIS network connection points is a possible scenario for the use of NATIX technology in regular operation.

Systems with critical infrastructure such as substations are unfortunately repeatedly the target of vandalism and break-ins. Since these systems are often remote on the outskirts, securing them poses a particular challenge. The demographic and geographical conditions in the E.DIS network area — in the partially sparsely populated states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania — also exacerbate this problem.

In addition to possible material damage and supply failures, unauthorized access always poses an increased risk to human life. On the one hand, this applies to people who gain unauthorized access to electrical systems and underestimate the associated risks, on the other — to site operators who could find themselves in a complex situation if repairs are necessary.

This is why NATIX technology can be applied at E.DIS for better protection and prevention of such situations. By using artificial intelligence, camera images are evaluated in real-time in compliance with data protection regulations. The system recognizes people and the video environment and activates in the event of unauthorized access.

This takes place in compliance with the privacy of the employees (General Data Protection Regulation) by exclusively analyzing anonymized images locally on camera. No images are saved during normal operation. Only if the system detects irregularities does previously determined staff (e.g. the network control center) receive a notification including a video clip in order to finally assess the situation and, if necessary, notify the police. In this way, break-ins and vandalism are combated, perpetrators are caught more quickly and the energy supply infrastructure is better protected.

One of the main benefits of NATIX software is that it can be used in a particularly resource-saving manner. Any commercially available IP-compatible camera is suitable. Due to the local data processing, the system has a high level of data security and requires neither special hardware nor high transmission bandwidth. Thanks to the intelligent software, the system reliably detects unauthorized persons and tampering with the cameras, thus guaranteeing protection that would not be possible using conventional technology. These properties represent immense advantages for a large-scale rollout that is possible in the future. The test phase, including permanent further development, is initially scheduled for six months at E.DIS.

Read the original press release from E.DIS here.

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DISCLAIMER: This post only reflects the author’s personal opinion, not any other organization’s. This is not official advice. The author is not responsible for any decisions that readers choose to make.