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Oman?s power network to get ABB?s Quantum-Safe encryption

ABB will provide its utility-grade communication systems, the FOX615 multiplexer to OETC. (Image source: ABB)

Swiss technology company ABB said even the most advanced cybersecurity solutions need to be updated on a regular basis to ensure the exceptional level of security necessary to protect vital infrastructure such as power grids

This is crucial in a world where developments in quantum computers (powerful computers that leverage principles of quantum physics) threaten to break existing asymmetric algorithms used to encrypt and secure communications in mission-critical infrastructure.

In Oman, ABB is in the process of installing a high-reliability grid communications technology solution. This will protect the critical digital electrical infrastructure for the Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC), according to ABB.

OETC owns and operates Oman?s main electricity transmission network and sends power from generating stations to load centres throughout the country. The company monitors and controls its entire electricity transmission system, including 93 substations, through a load dispatch centre (LDC) in its capital, Muscat.

The manufacturer stated that the new communication system for OETC will be among the first in the world to feature a Quantum-Safe encryption card which provides end-to-end encryption for mission-critical utility networks.

?Networks of power utilities remain in place for many years. We, therefore, focus on building systems with high performance and longevity to ensure the necessary return on investment and optimal protection for the end-customers,? said Massimo Danieli, head of ABB?s Grid Automation business line within the company?s Power Grids business.

?At ABB we continuously enhance the security of our solutions to support our customer?s need for maintaining reliable and safe power grids,? he added.

For this project, ABB will provide its utility-grade communication systems, the FOX615 multiplexer, which will be integrated into the existing ABB network all managed with FOXMAN-UN, the network management system for ABB utility communication equipment.

ABB encryption technology supports real-time communication and response to very high volumes of rapidly changing data and provides long-term, future-proof protection for a secure network.