smart grid cybersecurity

A new report by energy market research firm Technavio forecasts the global smart grid cybersecurity market to grow by 10% between 2016 and 2020.According to the research firm, global utilities efforts to meet increasing power demand through real time grid management has driven increased investments in smart grids.

However, the inability of smart grids to be operated via the internet has left utilities grids vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Sayani Roy, a lead analyst at Technavio, said: “This has raised the smart grid cyber security concerns, leading to the introduction of standards and efforts to improve the security of the power grid.”

Technavio predicts that the power consumption sector will generate the highest revenue in the smart grid cybersecurity market through to 2020.

Efforts by governments in developing smart meter standards to avoid hacking of consumer data has paved way towards the development of technologies to protect smart meters form cyber-attackers.

Technavio said it believes such efforts” lead to an increase in the adoption of safety measures such as data authentication and encryption, thereby, driving the smart grid cyber security market.”

In 2015, the power consumption segment generated 37.15% of the total revenue which the global smart grid cybersecurity market generated.

The power generation and distribution control segments held 34.10% and 28.75% of the 2015 global smart grid cybersecurity market share, respectively.

[quote]Commenting on the adoption of cybersecurity solutions in the power generation sector, Sayani said: “A well- planned attack by hackers can cause outages in several regions causing monetary losses, and if the required infrastructure is not available for backup, it can cause national security issues.

“To avoid such situations cyber security measures have been gaining increasing attention and are driving the need for an end-to-end cyber-security solution in the power and utility sectors,” reiterated Sayani.

Smart grid cybersecurity collaborations

Meanwhile, Cisco announced this week that it is partnering with Brazilian power utility AES Eletropaulo to implement next generation cybersecurity features including firewalls, VPN, switches and high-capacity routers.

The Brazilian utility will use these technologies to segregate different environments and enable new solutions for the smart grid.

The firewalls are being used to provide more protection to advanced threats and visibility into data traffic, ensuring that the access to the substations’ environment is allowed only to the SCADA systems.

The project also includes the deployment of ISR routers and virtual private network (VPN) technology for connectivity and the confidentiality of third party information, switches for private cloud connection, and switches for connecting servers and WAN networks. [Siemens and BCIT sign MoU on cybersecurity and microgrids]

With the new architecture, the AES Eletropaulo communication is encrypted, passing through at least two layers of firewalls equipped with Intrusion Prevention System.

 

Image credit: www.smartgridawareness.org