A new document from the U.S. Government Accountability Office--the auditing office of the U.S. Congress--assessing the current state of security of the rapidly deploying smart grid networks around the country finds that necessary built-in security features are often missing from the networks and the smart meters themselves.Read More
A recent Pike Research blog post discusses the first Smart Grid Cyber Security Summit in San Jose, CA as well as the major market opportunities in the smart meter security sector. As posted on Pike Research,
After listening to some of the expert presentations...[t]he refrain was consistent: the current grid, with its hodgepodge industrial control system (ICS) technologies, is highly vulnerable to a cyber attack that could destroy critical generation and T&D assets. Resulting outages could last for weeks, causing economic devastation. Smart grid integration could make it worse. Utility IT staffs with some security knowledge don’t understand ICS, and operations groups that do don’t trust, or even like, the IT groups. Nationally, very few experts (perhaps tens to low hundreds) understand enough ICS and IT to be useful.
However, according to Pike Research, the silver lining is that progress is being made in prioritizing security for the next-generation smart grid, with increased R&D from smart meter vendors as well as support from Congress.
Additionally, Pike Research points out the tremendous market opportunity in the smart meter security sector, forecasting revenue of upwards of $3.00 per meter over the next five years.Read More
While the transition to Smart Grid technology brings with it the promises of energy conservation, and hopes to empower consumers with a higher awareness of their power consumption, many are concerned that with these benefits will also come key vulnerabilities to the electrical grid -- and for that matter, the safety of entire nations. In Britain, for example, researchers at Cambridge University have brought to light a vulnerability associated with plans to introduce "pre-paid" energy consumption for consumers with a history of defaulting on payment. The practice would require a standard remote shut-off scheme which, depending on encryption methods, might make it relatively easy for a malicious third party to disable meters remotely.Read More