4 Feb. 2019

FlexC: Built for cybersecurity

The Flexible Secure Communications Protocol (FlexC) enables communications for an Internet Protocol (IP) based single or multiple path Alarm Transmission System (ATS). An ATS is a reliable communications link between a Supervised Premises Transceiver (SPT, for example, Ethernet integrated onto the SPC panel) and a Receiving Center Transceiver (RCT, for example, SPC Com XT or the SPC Connect server, www.spcconnect.com). A FlexC ATS consists of a primary Alarm Transmission Path (ATP) and up to nine backup Alarm Transmission Paths (ATPs).

In layman’s terms, FlexC, Vanderbilt’s communications protocol, was built from the ground up solely with cybersecurity in mind. FlexC is a multipath, multi-redundant, highly encrypted communications protocol that allows secure monitoring and control of IP communication paths.

Encryption

The protocol is a bespoke design that ensures everything is encrypted, all communications are monitored, and multiple types of attack are considered for defensive purposes to provide the best security possible. The encryption used by FlexC communications between panels and the cloud is an AES 256-bit SSL encryption.

IP communication can be enabled with an encryption key to ensure the data packets cannot be sniffed or intercepted. This provides compliance benefits for very high-security installations or government departments. By encrypting anything before you send it to the cloud, it adds an extra cushion of control and power over that data. It not only provides an added defensive structure around a company's information, but it also adds peace of mind to the equation when relaying this data to the cloud. 

Cyber Frame of Mind

With cybersecurity, you must act every week. It is not something where you can say, “we’re safe, we’re secure, let’s forget about it.” Every time you release a product or release an update, you must centralize your mindset on cybersecurity. Vanderbilt’s fundamental way of approaching this issue is to stay in the mindset of assuming someone is currently trying to attack one of our systems.

So, when you look at the way our security solutions, like SPC Connect, are designed, you will see that they are built with that mentality in mind.