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An interconnected network

An interconnected network of smart devices and IT systems where electricity and information can flow freely is called a ‘Smart Grid.’ This interconnected network makes the electric grid more reliable. Substantial security risks are incurred when these systems are connected to a wider network. We can list three main security concerns:

1. Ability to confirm authenticity of the other party and communicate only with genuine parties.
2. Integrity of the data flowing through the Smart grid network.
3. Ability to withstand sustained attacks Dante Exum Women's Jersey , and quickly recover from such attacks.

As corporate systems are already exposed to external networks and are supposedly protected from risks, the issue with Smart Grid security can certainly be downplayed. We can also use those methods to secure Smart Grid. We can detail the key differences between corporate IT systems and Smart Grid systems as follows:

• Smart Grid systems are considered as vital national infrastructure and need to be more robust to ensure energy security.
• Power system operation must continue in the event of an attack and should recover quickly from any damage.
• The complexity of the modern Smart Grid system exposes it to risks and threats.
• Millions of devices and systems connected to each other in the Grid offer multiple entry points for potential attackers.
• Any breach of data security will offer analysis and malicious usage of the humongous amount of data collected Alec Burks Women's Jersey , transmitted and stored.
• Many connections on Smart Grid will have longer durations; sometimes permanent, which increases the risk.
• Many end points in Smart Grid will have very limited processing power and storage Adrian Dantley Women's Jersey , making it unfeasible to use certificates and sophisticated encryption algorithms.
• Many links in the Smart Grid network will have low communication bandwidth that will limit the security measures taken.
• Unlike corporate IT systems, you may not be able to quickly apply patches when new vulnerabilities are discovered.

It will be challenging to test the Smart Grid as the normal operation ideally should not have an impact during security testing. The impact of security breach will vary based on the system breached. Some feasible scenarios:

• The attacker gains access to millions of smart meters and then shuts them down remotely using a remote disconnect feature in modern smart meters. In a worst case scenario Tony Bradley Jersey , the built in configuration is changed; so meters stop communicating with the central server altogether. The only option would be to reload the firmware in millions of those meters.
• The attacker can disrupt the load balance of the local system by suddenly decreasing or increasing the demand for power.
• A generator can be manipulated to self-destruct using computer and communication systems connected to that generator. The Stuxnet kind of computer worm can overtake the power plant’s industrial control systems by infecting SCADA software and can destabilize the closed loop feedback control and self-destruct the plant.
• The lead time required to replace a damaged transformer and its critical role in the grid would make this a serious threat.
• Smart Grid technologies will offer Home Energy management solution to the end consumers where they will have control over the use of energy. This is possible because future smart appliances for homes are connected to the Home energy gateway or a Smart Meter, which can be used to set usage configurations based on options like Time of Use (TOU) Rudy Gobert Jersey , real time tariff, Time of the Day Rodney Hood Jersey , etc. This results in significant savings of energy and cost. This increases vulnerability at the consumer’s end. Such breach can impact both privacy and availability for them. Researchers have demonstrated that you can glean insights into a typical day at home by looking at the energy consumption. Based on energy signature, you can find out which appliance was used when Ricky Rubio Jersey , or if the house is occupied at the moment. The attacker may even send wrong energy usage data to the MDMS system causing monetary losses for consumers and potential disputes with utility.
• Even law enforcing agencies routinely use energy data for consumer protection and civil liberty groups are concerned about loss of privacy.

We may never be able to completely secure the Smart Grid from all threats as proven by news articles on future attacks on the US Smart Grid. Is quick detection followed by quick recovery and response the only strategy available to protect our energy supply?
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