The Cyber Security Lesson of Riviera Beach

East of Miami, under the tropical liquid heat and along the smooth white sands nestled into the Atlantic, the small city of Riviera Beach waits idly inside a digital paralysis. The looming threat of cyber security attacks dropped through golden air and punctuated the city’s computer systems. In the stalled doldrums of the last three weeks, employees of the city have waded through a frustrating tapestry of locked emails, inaccessible bank accounts, blocked call logs and records, just to name a few. Local emergency dispatchers are unable to record 911 calls and even the police have had to issue paper citations and keep their records by hand. In essence, the governmental functions of Riviera Beach have been suspended until they agree to pay a $600, 000 ransom to faceless and virtually untraceable computer hackers.

            With little choice, city officials agreed to pay the ransom this week, using the hackers’ preferred payment in bit coins. The coastal Florida city isn’t alone—last year major cyber attacks fell upon Atlanta, Newark, and Baltimore, the latter of which is still struggling to bring their services back online after refusing to pay the ransom. The truth is that cyber attacks are becoming an increasingly prevalent side effect of the rabid digital world we have grown into as a species. With the all-encompassing rise of technology, with the connective wires roaming the planet in spades, also come the bullet holes by which cyber criminals can easily slip through. The plight of Riviera Beach could easily by the plight of a major corporation, a network of hospitals, or worse, a nuclear power plant.

            In that regard Otek has stepped up to the plate. We recently launched our brand new Solid State Analog Meter, colloquially known as the SSAM, that incorporates our award-winning patented technology with analog hardware to create a digital meter that can empirically be classified as a Cyber Security Exempt DPM. The secret lies in the meter’s construction—we designed it without any critical digital assets such as microprocessors, and using only good old fashioned CMOS logic. It functions like an advanced DPM, and does so without the potentially comprising parts cyber hackers love to pounce on. Going beyond even the security the SSAM offers, it also can play a major role in reducing the cyber security compliance costs NPP’s brush up against under the provisions of NEI 08-09. The SSAM also features a 4 ½ digit display, H.V. isolated alarm outputs, a post mortem signal fail alarm, and is covered by our lifetime warranty among many other exclusive features.

            With the world moving ever further under the digital cloud, it is imperative that we are proactive in guarding against cyber security threats. The lesson of Riviera Beach as proven what a reactive approach engenders.

            For more information on the SSAM or any of our other vast array of products please call our office at 520-748-7900 or email our sales office at sales@otekcorp.com