Utility Security Solutions

Executive Brief: Power Utilities

One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways for a public power utility to meet and sustain NERC CIP physical security compliance is by simply replacing an outdated mechanical key system with a Medeco Intelligent Key System. Learn why in this Executive Brief.


FERC NERC CIP Compliance for Physical Security:
Replace Your Outdated Key System!

Utility executives and federal energy officials have long worried that power utilities are vulnerable to sabotage by both physical and cyber attacks. Whether the threats are posed by terrorists, disgruntled former employees, or teenagers performing a prank, the end result of unauthorized access and tampering at a utility facility is the same – a disruption of local and even national electrical power supply and utility generation and transmission.

Unfortunately, many power utility components are often in remote, unattended locations and protected by little more than cameras and chain-link fences. As a result, there are numerous instances of equipment tampering and destruction due to the ease of accessing facilities.

Of the original eight standards set by NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) for CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection), two standards—006-3c and 006-5—are specific to physical security.

Medeco intelligent key systems are ideally suited to help utilities with NERC CIP Compliance for physical security. To comply with these CIP standards, utilities must define operational or procedural controls to restrict physical access. For authorized individuals requiring physical access to critical infrastructure or physical security perimeters, utilities should:

  • Implement a minimum of one physical access control system, although two or more control measures are recommended.
  • Monitor unauthorized access through all physical access points.
  • Maintain records (automated or manual) of entry — with time and date — for each individual with authorized access, unescorted access, or unauthorized access to physical access points.
  • Issue an alarm or alert within 15 minutes if unauthorized access is gained through physical access points.
  • Keep physical access logs capturing date and time of individual’s access for a minimum of 90 days.

In response to the NERC CIP compliance requirements of CIP Standards 006-3c and 006-5, utilities have deployed various tactics including physical access control systems, electronic access control systems, cameras, security locks, fences, and more.

However, there is a solution that is far more efficient and effective. A utility can become compliant on many openings by simply replacing its outdated and uncontrolled mechanical master key system with a Medeco Intelligent Key System.


Medeco offers two distinct Intelligent Key Systems --"Medeco CLIQ" and "Medeco XT."  Each system offers unique benefits that are ideal for NERC CIP Compliance for physical security. Both systems provide access control, electronic scheduling and audit accountability, and do so at a fraction of the cost of an electronic access control system (EAC). That's because with Medeco, no wiring is required! The power resides in the key’s rechargeable (XT) or replaceable (CLIQ) batteries.

Installation is simple with either Medeco XT or Medeco CLIQ. That's because each system's electronic cylinders retrofit a utility's existing gate and door hardware—even padlocks—saving you time and money on the installation side. The installer simply removes the old mechanical cylinder and drops in the new electronic cylinder. Deployment is fast and efficient—that's good news for a utility company that needs to be in compliance with NERC CIP Standards for physical security!

Contact a Medeco Dealer for more information about NERC CIP Standards and the Medeco XT and Medeco CLIQ Intelligent Key Systems. Use the Dealer Locator feature at the top right of this page, or register for a free security evaluation—the form is below the Dealer Locator. 

Medeco stands ready to assist any utility with upcoming FERC NERC Requirements for CIP Security. Let us show you how simply replacing your old mechanical lock system with a Medeco Intelligent Key System can be the most efficient and effective way to achieve NERC CIP Compliance for physical security. 



Audit Accountability - Audit information recorded in both the lock and key shows a time-and-date stamped record of every event, including authorized accesses and unauthorized attempts
  Electronic Scheduling - Intelligent Keys are programmed for specific openings with fully flexible scheduling. Access Profiles can be created where programming updates are generated automatically when an opening is added or removed.
  Uses Existing Hardware - Medeco intelligent keys provide all power to the cylinder, eliminating the need for any hard wiring or power supply. Simply remove the existing mechanical cylinder and install the Medeco XT or CLIQ intelligent cylinder. 
  Reduces Risk of Lost Keys - Respond quickly to security threats, lost or stolen keys,or personnel changes utilizing expiring intelligent key validation intervals and remote programming.
  Physical Security - Both Medeco XT and Medeco CLIQ Intelligent Key System products add a wide variety of intelligent features without compromising on physical security. Attack-resistant design and tamper-proof features provide strong protection against forced entry.
  Efficient System Management - Medeco Intelligent Key System software contains tools that will help you manage your security more efficiently. Flexible programming, scheduled access and full audit reports are offered with the convenience of stand-alone or web-based software.
 Dashboard Data Dashboard - Glances display system data in a new graphical way on the Medeco dashboard. The ‘Glances’ display consists of several mini-dashboards that provide insight into your system configurationand audit events.
Bluetooth Bluetooth - Bluetooth enabled option with iOS and Android App support.

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