Case study

Safeguarding Canada’s green energy future with cutting-edge cloud access control

Portage Power harnessed acre’s cloud access control solutions to cut costs, increase efficiency, and support its goal to build a more sustainable future for Canada’s capital.

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Access control

Solution

Access control

Cloud

Delivery method

Cloud

Industry

Critical infrastructure/utilities

About the client

Portage Power is the largest Ontario-based, municipally-owned producer of green power in Canada. It owns and operates six run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation plants at Chaudière Falls, the historic Ottawa River Ring Dam, and 10 other run-of-the-river facilities in Ontario and New York.

The challenge

Dams are an essential part of Canada’s national infrastructure and require special security measures to protect them against an increasingly diverse range of threats. These include everything from vandalism to natural disasters.

Portage Power takes its role as a critical infrastructure provider very seriously. As one of Canada’s biggest green energy providers, Portage Power works tirelessly to protect assets from security threats. It does this through a combination of technology and security best practices, which includes implementing physical and logical access controls across its sites.

Many dam owners wrestle with the dual challenges of maintaining and upgrading their security operations. As part of the company’s wider digital transformation initiative, Portage Power decided it was time to upgrade its legacy access control system [link to the access control page] to take advantage of the cloud’s limitless potential.

At the outset of the project, Portage Power had several key objectives for replacing and strengthening its access control security platform:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Global scalability
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Remote access
  • Enhanced cybersecurity

The solution

We conducted a thorough gap analysis to identify Portage Power’s key requirements. We realized immediately that we’d need to build a new access control database from the ground up to replace outdated information and accommodate new staff. Additionally, we reviewed the company’s authorization process and developed more detailed access level attributes to improve security.

Together, these improvements formed the basis of a next-generation access control as a service (ACaaS) platform that provides Portage Power with consistent risk management and robust cyber controls to protect critical infrastructure – now and in the future.

Canadian system integrator ADSS handled the integration.

“The security team noticed the efficiencies immediately in securing sustainable infrastructure using the [acre] access control platform.”
–  Jean-Marc David, Supervisor of DAM Safety, Portage Power

The result

Moving from traditional on-premises servers to a cloud-based solution has allowed the Portage Power security team to reinvent itself. The team noticed immediate improvements to its security, compliance, and productivity.

The ACaaS platform also helps Portage Power optimize its tech spend and work more efficiently.
Cost-effective access control. As a cloud solution, Portage Power doesn’t pay any up-front costs for services or devices. This makes it an effective and affordable solution.

Global scalability. Portage Power can expand its access control infrastructure to accommodate future asset acquisitions, anywhere around the globe.

Regulatory compliance. Built-in compliance satisfies internal and external audit requirements from Provincial, Federal, and other agencies responsible for infrastructure security.

Remote access. Staff can operate doors and access various buildings in Canada and the USA, from anywhere with an internet connection.

Robust cyber security. The ACaaS platform offers end-to-end security, from the edge to the cloud. Perfect for companies that operate in today’s complex threat landscape.

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The first step to securing your future

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