Transpower seeks security proposals

Transpower, the former branch of ECNZ that owns and operates the national power grid, has put out a proposals tender for an IT security system.

Transpower, the former branch of ECNZ that owns and operates the national power grid, has put out a proposals tender for an IT security system.

The SOE’s IT&T technical architect, Jonathan Shennan, says because it is increasingly providing information to customers over the net, the need to prevent unauthorised access to customer records and Transpower’s own systems is also growing.

“Most of the customers want to come and look at information pertinent to their relationship with Transpower. More and more, we’re having to share our systems with various groups and that’s where security comes in.”

Transpower, which coordinates electricity distribution nationwide, linking generators, distribution companies and large companies that buy power directly from it, is requiring vendors answering the request for proposal (RFP) to provide an all-encompassing package involving software, integration and ongoing support.

“We had to take a step back and and look at all our systems and issues and to look at an integrated security strategy. We’re hoping to get an integrated set of products.”

Proposals involving 80% of the solution being supplied by one vendor would be desirable, he says, “because when there are issues, there will be one vendor to deal with”. The RFP states that proposals involving more than one provider must name the provider which will be responsible for managing the relationship with Transpower and contingencies should the partnership break up.

Specific areas to be addressed in proposals include authentication and access controls, user management, external internet access and management and audit.

Transpower provides most of its own network management services but outsources most of its IT systems development and services, with Fujitsu a major provider of the latter.

Transpower is looking to move to a Citrix thin-client software architecture.

The closing date for proposals is February 14.

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