Critical Infrastructure

Energy Utilities and Substations Telecommunications Centers Water and Wastewater Facilities
Petrochemical Manufacturing Sites Transportation Municipal Complexes

Improving Homeland Security

The core of DAQ expertise lies in the high-level automation of complex processes for both security and SCADA applications. Founded in 1975, DAQ pioneered distributed processing for industrial automation projects in multiple industries, including electric, petrochemical, water/waste water, transportation, and communications. By embedding our recognized SCADA design and protection technology into our StarWatchâ„¢ SMS products, DAQ developed a suite of software modules and intelligent devices offering unique advantages for both comprehensive management of critical security operations and reliable performance in harsh environments.

Our custom-designed solutions, which range from small, stand-alone units to multi-site, distributed systems, enable users to precisely monitor and control geographically dispersed plants, equipment, sensors, and 3rd-party devices with a high degree of accuracy. By removing the possibility of human error from analytical and diagnostic processes, DAQ technology ensures the reliable flow of information across system architecture and an immediate response to alarm situations.

This integration of security with SCADA enables the StarWatch platform to present a common user interface for system reporting and events. Complying with government NERC CIP regulations, infrastructure protection standards can be built-in and configured, such as lock-down sequences during potential cyber terrorism issues. StarWatch can manage and monitor access control and intrusion detection at a facility using existing communications framework and protocols, providing simple connection to previously installed devices and reducing duplicated services.

System Features

  • Predefined security elements, including access control, intrusion detection, and video management
  • Integration of third-party sensors with existing security and facility infrastructure using common protocols
  • Compliance with government regulations, including NERC CIP requirements
  • Simple connection to the latest generation of smart locks and access card technologies
  • Site-specific security with fence monitoring, perimeter detection, video analytics, and infrared cameras
  • Secure, efficient contractor/employee screening
  • Authentication and certificate management incorporating LDAP and SAML
  • Flexibility to address diverse applications, from single sensor solutions to multi-site security networks

Integrated Physical Security

StarWatch extends a wide range of security functions for local facilities and remote locations, including entry/exit monitoring, alarm verification and assessment, automated event response, and the strict management of personnel and vehicle access. Complete situational awareness is achieved via fully integrated access control, video management, intrusion detection, and gate control operations, all viewed and controlled through a single graphical user interface.

Access control for authorized users from location to location can pose a significant challenge without the right technologies. Within StarWatch, the latest generation of smart locks and smart cards communicate directly to system databases where all access events, such as which individuals entered a substation and for how long, are monitored, recorded, and time-stamped. StarWatch minimizes loss by implementing vetting systems that provide background checks as part of an enrollment/registration process.

A Merging of Technologies

StarWatch facilitates the seamless fusion of third-party sensors with existing electronic security using common language protocols, including Modbus, DNP3, and IEC 60870. Data from diverse device types is collected under a single interface that manages, interprets, and unifies the information while introducing context-sensitive intelligence to the data handling process. Standards-based interfaces and custom user controls enable the bridging of StarWatch to existing systems and allow operators to quickly analyze and act on reported information.

By intelligently associating sensor data with real-time events within existing security systems, StarWatch offers clear advantages over stand-alone devices and interfaces. The system provides the framework to instantly connect bits of data into logical streams and eliminates the need for operators to manually interpret data in critical situations.

Protecting Data and Information Centers

Safeguarding critical information locations, such as data centers that house telecommunications and storage equipment, requires a layered approach. By combining perimeter security, access control, and intrusion detection into a single solution, StarWatch provides security teams with a continuous view of personnel, assets, and systems, all within existing IT infrastructure.

Providing robust door access control and constant monitoring of personnel movement throughout installations, StarWatch ensures all entry to restricted areas is authorized through configurations featuring biometric readers, anti-tailgating, and mantraps. Additionally, smart sensors, including biological and explosive detectors, can be strictly monitored with alarm activity reported directly to the operator screen and triggering automated responses, such as building lock-down and turning on/off components of HVAC systems.

The BACnet Automation Advantage

StarWatch also provides users with the unique opportunity to merge security functionality with Building Automation Systems (BAS) through the use of BACnet, a widely used data communications protocol for building automation and control networks. With built-in BACnet compliance, the platform offers a level of device interoperability and data analysis opportunity previously unavailable in the commercial security market. Most importantly, through an integrated BACnet network, industrial spaces can reduce energy consumption by associating StarWatch access/secure activity to BAS functions. For example, linked systems can turn on/off HVAC and lighting in areas of buildings based on room usage and staff member credential information acquired directly, in real time, from an installed StarWatch security system.

With award-winning products designed to communicate with any ANSI/ASHRAE 135-2010 compliant system, StarWatch provides a solution that bridges the gap between physical security and building automation technology and opens the door to truly intelligent buildings.

To explore how DAQ can define and deliver cost-effective solutions for your utility or critical infrastructure application, please contact our offices. We are standing by to help secure your facilities. Please note that in recognizing the critical nature of security concerns, DAQ maintains strict confidentiality in all aspects of project discussion, planning, engineering, and installation.

Document Links

Industrial Applications

Description: printable .pdf version of critical infrastructure overview
click to download

BACnet Solutions

Description: printable .pdf version of BACnet advantages overview
click to download

Integrated Software Components

StarWatch combines typically distinct security functions into a cohesive management system, all operating under a single user interface with common databases. This fusion of information allows each activity, event, and response to be informed by the current condition of every sensor, portal, camera, and third-party device connected to the system.

Related Products

The StarWatch product portfolio includes a proven line of software and devices that allow users to maintain comprehensive situational awareness across all entry points, surveillance zones, and perimeters.