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Recent regulatory requirements in the United States and the growing complexity of transmission grids worldwide have prompted the need for greater substation data communications security. Southern company, one of the largest utilities in North America, required a comprehensive security solution for providing and controlling access to intelligent electronic devices within its substations. Using a combination of commercial hardware and software, in conjunction with software developed by SUBNET solutions Inc., southern company has begun a standardized rollout of the proposed solution across four of its electric utility companies. This paper explores the challenges faced by southern company and other utilities, the subsequent development of a solution, and the future benefits of that solution.