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Question

Is there a use case where bidirectional data diodes would serve to eliminate ERC with an external customer for purposes of NERC CIP compliance purposes?

Is there a use case where bidirectional data diodes would serve to eliminate ERC with an external customer for purposes of NERC CIP compliance purposes?  Bidirectional data flow is currently required with this customer.

Asked by: - Director - Compliance, IPP, NUG

This question was posed during a recent Energy Central PowerSession: Data Diodes 101: Protecting the Grid with Hardware

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In my experience with CIP auditors there is no scenario with bi-directional data diodes that would aid in any compliance relief. If a diode is used for inbound data they would see that as ERC (external routable connectivity). Those were SERC auditors which may not represent the other auditing regions.

For a Medium CIP plant using the diode as uni-directional for outbound only creates a "medium without ERC impact rating" which drastically reduces the number of CIP requirements as opposed to Medium with ERC.

Mark Prince

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