New SEL-3021 serial encrypting transceivers secure vital communications to protect against cyber attacks

PULLMAN, Wash. — Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL), a manufacturer of protection, monitoring, control, automation, and metering equipment, announces the SEL-3021 Serial Encrypting Transceiver, designed specifically to protect existing and new communications links between power control centers, electrical substations, and generating plants.

Instrumentation and control systems operate and monitor critical infrastructure components. Today there are real threats of malicious physical and cyber attacks on these systems, making their protection and security more important than ever.

An attacker, for example, can secretly monitor sensitive information on data links, or send messages to operate equipment or change settings. Attackers could steal data that would identify biggest customers, usage patterns, delivered power quality, and production rates, or to identify physical targets. Worse yet, imagine the problems they could cause by commanding breakers to open or close, machines to stop or start, and gates or valves to open or close.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and electric utilities are concerned about attacks on the systems that monitor and control the electrical power grid. The SEL-3021 protects critical infrastructure from attack and complies with industry requirements and recommendations. It uses encryption and session authentication, and locks out unauthorized control.

The SEL-3021 has low latency, making it ideal for systems that require time-critical communication, such as SCADA, metering, and protection. This “bump-in-the-wire” solution allows easy installation in existing links.

The SEL-3021 is designed to meet Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 security requirements. It meets or surpasses utility and industrial environmental requirements.

SEL offers unmatched local technical support, a worldwide, ten-year product warranty, and a commitment to help you make electric power safer, more reliable, and more economical. More information is available at the SEL website,

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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