Aperio Uses AI To Improve Power Plant Security

Aperio Uses AI To Improve Power Plant Security

Finding a means to protect power plants and other critical infrastructure is not just challenging but also exceedingly important. On one hand, there are security issues like trying to stop hackers from accessing a computer remotely to mine Bitcoin, but this problem is different from disrupting the whole plant.

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Finding a means to protect power plants and other critical infrastructure is not just challenging but also exceedingly important. On one hand, there are security issues like trying to stop hackers from accessing a computer remotely to mine Bitcoin, but this problem is different from disrupting the whole plant. Here, their goal might be to impact the physical infrastructure for the purpose of causing an explosion. The same infrastructure regularly includes thousands of valves, sensors, and actuators, all connected with each other.

This is why power stations are such an attractive target for a range of attackers. Because of this, Aperio Systems, a company based in Israel announced that it managed to attain $4.5 million in their seed round of funding. The sum will go into a project that should help operators detect and then mitigate any potential malicious intrusion before they are able to produce harm. In this investment round, Energias de Portugal chose to participate as an investor. This is one of the biggest utility providers in Europe which was also Aperio’s pilot customer. Additional investors who came forward were Jump Capital, Scopus Ventures, and Data Point Capital.
Michael Shalyt, Aperio co-founder, and CEO stated that hackers regularly try to manipulate the various parts of the physical infrastructure of power plants. But, they also try to conceal their attempts by tricking sensors to report that everything is normal, even if, for example, a pressure inside of a valve is on a rise. This is a phenomenon that is undetectable to regular security systems, but Aperio is a specialist company in this domain. Its tools are able to detect the occurrences when data is being tampered with thanks to the fact that they do not just use the main sensor data but also the noise these pick up.
These are regularly filtered out but with machine learning procedures, the company was able to figure out fingerprints of the same sensors exclusively based on that noise. It is possible to reproduce the sensor data, but not the noise is unique. This way, a system can detect being tampered with. In an entire plant, Aperio system can figure out what is happening below all the forged data, which allows the operators to decide when they want to use the red button and stop all of their operations so that a controlled shutdown can be attained.
The big benefit of this system is that it can be embedded in the plant’s existing setup, which is something every plant wants to keep in place. Aperio currently employs about a dozen specialists, most of whom are engineers. Their plan is to use the funds to improve its basic tech and build more tools for their customers. With this, they believe the company will be able to branch out to new marketplaces. Right now, these mostly include Europe and Israel, but the company is looking towards its new operations hub in Australia, as well as Asia and the US for any future expansion.

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