Utility cyber security in a state of near chaos says senior analyst

The security vulnerabilities facing the electrical grid have been a major topic of discussion as utilities around the world forge ahead with their smart grid deployment initiatives, which utilise information and communication technologies to improve the operating efficiency of the grid.

However, despite all the discussion, a new white paper from Pike Research finds that utilities’ cyber security challenges are nowhere close to being resolved, and the industry will continue to face a number of serious hurdles in the coming years.

The paper, which includes commentary and predictions about the state of smart grid cyber security in 2012 and beyond, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website http://www.pikeresearch.com/research/utility-cyber-security

“Utility cyber security is in a state of near chaos,” says senior analyst Bob Lockhart. “After years of vendors selling point solutions, utilities investing in compliance minimums rather than full security, and attackers having nearly free rein, the attackers clearly have the upper hand. Many attacks simply cannot be defended. That said, Pike Research has observed a dawning awareness by utilities during the past 18 months of the importance of securing smart grids with architecturally sound solutions. There is hope.”

Lockhart adds that cyber security solutions remain challenging to implement, especially as attackers gain awareness of the holes between point solutions. Analysis indicates that security vendors are focusing increasingly on industrial control system (ICS) security, not only on advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) security – although a few security vendors have focused on ICS from the outset. Lockhart states that the utility cyber security market will be characterized by a frantic race to gain the upper hand against the attackers, while at the same time strong competitors attempt to outdo each other.

Examined in the white paper are seven key trends in smart grid cyber security that will be major issues for the industry over the next few years:
• One size doesn’t fit all: cyber security investments will be shaped by regional deployments
• Industrial control systems, not smart meters, will be the primary cyber security focus
• Assume nothing: “security by obscurity” will no longer be acceptable
• Chaos ahead?: the lack of security standards will hinder action
• Aging infrastructure: older devices will continue to pose challenges
• System implementation will be more important than component security
• The top five most promising smart grid cyber security technologies

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Silicon Labs brings AI and Machine Learning to the edge with matter-ready platform

Posted on: January 24, 2022

AUSTIN, TX. 24 January 2022 – Silicon Labs, a specialist in secure, intelligent wireless technology for a more connected world, announced the BG24 and MG24 families of 2.4 GHz wireless SoCs for Bluetooth and Multiple-protocol operations, respectively, and a new software toolkit. This new co-optimised hardware and software platform will help bring AI/ML applications and

Read more

The chaos of legacy equipment

Posted on: January 24, 2022

Legacy equipment is vital to the functioning of many manufacturing facilities. Nevertheless, with rapid advancement in automated and connected technologies, managing both new and old equipment simultaneously can be a challenging balancing act. Here Johan Jonzon, CMO and co-founder specialist in edge analytics for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Crosser, shares insight into how

Read more