What to make of alleged cyber attacks on the Smart Grid

April 8, 2009 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Today’s Wall Street Journal reported on alleged cyberattacks on our electric grid, noting that none of the attacks had actually taken control of any systems, nor did the attacks cause any damage. Security, however, is one of those things one can never have enough of, so our emphasis as an industry should be on the things we are doing to increase the level of security.

At an industry level, the UtilityAMI Security task force-a consortium of utilities, security professionals, smart grid vendors (including eMeter), and a sub-committee of the Open Smart Grid Users Group has defined security requirements for Smart Grid. In addition, groups defining protocols for Smart Grid communications, such as Edison Electric Institute (EEI), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and ZigBee, have worked hard to ensure that appropriate security mechanism are embedded in their standards. Finally, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are continuing to evaluate existing standards.

Finally, what has the actual history of the smart grid industry been?

Many millions of smart meters and remotely controlled devices have been installed and operated by utilities, some going back for decades. To the best of our knowledge, neither the meters nor the devices have ever been subjected to a successful cyberattack, nor has there ever been an unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer information.

Chris King

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

White House Energy Reform Smart Grid Standards

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