Power Utilities faced with potential outages on the grid, safety issues, and stiff fines are aggressively seeking technology solutions to help eliminate outdated methods. Historically, labor intensive, error prone methods have been used to collect the information required by NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and OSHA Safety requirements programs in order to pass audits. “These regulations require adherence and a much greater detail when it comes to ‘who, why and when’ visitors enter areas deemed to be critical infrastructure areas and verifying that visitors have the proper credentials and training to be there safely,” states James Evelyn, General Manager - Security and Compliance Offerings at Force 5. Founded in 2000, this Miami-based firm offers unique enterprise solution for the Power and Utility industry—designed to provide audit-ready evidence, constant situational awareness, and persistent risk assessment.
Force 5’s Gatekeeper is built to meet the needs of power utilities. This robust solution produces compliance based evidence and forensics needed for real-time risk analysis and audit-ready reporting—helping businesses achieve and maintain compliance and mitigate operational risk. Gatekeeper eliminates the age-old practice of logging access with paper log books, and provides awareness through dashboards, logs, and report generation.
Built specifically to meet CIP regulatory audit requirements, Force 5’s Gatekeeper combines physical access logging with identity management and validation.
Force 5's software solutions are designed to provide audit-ready evidence as well as constant situational awareness and persistent risk assessment
Its touch-screen kiosks with biometric readers validate that the escorts have all the correct credentials to meet Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) regulatory requirements and ensure that the visit will pass the meticulous review of an audit. “Gatekeeper mitigates risk by providing the complete history and audit trail allowing organizations to manage not only their escort and visitor identities but also objects, like physical keys,” adds Evelyn. Moreover, the Gatekeeper Offering provides clients with point of entry compliance for OSHA regulations. Gatekeeper helps utilities monitor, log, muster, enforce, and track at a facility’s points of entry.
Gatekeeper Mobile Units provide temporary or long-term structures for secure perimeter access logging to accelerate, consolidate, and optimize the worker / plant access process. Force 5’s Mobile Muster Kiosks increase situational awareness with a real-time roster of visitors in case of an emergency.
The unique, self-service platform provides for an “Always Audit Ready” single unified platform. Its architecture delivers a distributed implementation where local systems sync back to an archival server, ensuring availability. The adoption of these solutions has brought a significant difference for their clients by helping them move away from error-prone and geographically dispersed paper logbooks. “We had no violations or self-reports after Gatekeeper, and that log remediation is done in minutes instead of weeks, and when needed it is done proactively,” says one of Force 5's clients.
Force 5 has been solving customer problems for over a decade and a half with proven technology solutions. Committed to effectively blending commercial software with custom application and hardware development, Force 5 professional services deliver business value, mitigate risk, and help companies successfully meet regulatory and audit requirements. “It is from this high-transaction, secure IBM mainframe heritage that the Force 5 team draws to deliver complete software and hardware solutions to our customers,” Evelyn concludes.