Tone down the worry over Smart Grid security

March 24, 2009 at 8:00 am

CNN’s story about smart grid posing a national security risk is a silly story about a serious matter. The electric grid is critical to homes and businesses and must be protected. The risk, though, is in the large-scale systems, the power plants and transmission substations, and the energy management software that controls the high-voltage grid. Smart grid, with millions and millions of smart meters, smart sensors, and smart appliances, distributes the computing and distributes the risk. Take out one mainframe computer and you’ve caused some major damage. Take out a laptop on the Internet and you’ve harmed nothing but the laptop.

In addition to lowering the risk by distributing sensing and control, smart grid vendors, including eMeter, take security very seriously. Software and systems are rigorously reviewed by utilities prior to installation, and vendors must comply with numerous security requirements. In addition, the smart grid community – regulators, utilities, vendors – are collaborating in a number of efforts to further strengthen those security standards. eMeter is proud to be part of those efforts.

CNN’s story is silly in one sense, because nobody – other than my utility and I – cares about my electricity usage enough to hack into a smart meter on my home. That nobody has done so with over 50 million automated meter reading devices installed around the U.S. over the past 20 years proves the point. And today’s smart meters are way smarter than the AMR devices.

– Chris King

Entry filed under: Chris King, Security, Smart Grid. Tags: , , , , , .

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