Cyber Security in Smart Grids
Session Chair:
Paul Smith
Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria

The smart grid represents a revolutionary change in the way power grids will operate in the future, including a much larger use of ICT technologies and a greater degree of openness, both in terms of connectivity and the number of interfaces the grid has to third-parties, including end customers. The motivation for smart grids are manifold, including an increased resilience of the power grid, the ability to include a greater number of renewable energy sources, and support for advanced services, such as power management approaches that respond to demand-side requests. Naturally, this additional complexity, openness and use of ICT technology make the power grid susceptible to new cyber-security threats.

Standards bodies and the like have produced volumes about how to secure smart grids – examples include the NISTIR 7628 guidelines or the recent ENISA document on the ‘Smart Grid Threat Landscape and Good Practice Guide’. Whilst representing important work, these recommendations are not the complete picture and important pieces are still missing. For instance, current recommendations largely take an architectural view of the problem, and omit guidance on operational aspects of ensuring grid operation if security measures fail – an inevitable outcome. A criticism that has been levelled at these guidelines is they largely stem from information security standards, e.g., the ISO 27000 series, and do not suitably consider the cyber-physical nature of the smart grid. Some in the community are seeking to leverage big data from the grid to, for example, improve security incident response management; it is unclear to what extent EU and national privacy regulation might affect this aspiration.

Panellists will present their view on the current status of smart grid security and privacy, pointing to areas where gains have been made, and outlining shortcomings of the sort previously mentioned. Furthermore, they will state their position on what steps we, as a community, need to make in order to pave the way for a safe, secure and privacy preserving smart grid. The audience will be invited to address the panel and challenge them on their views in a round of open discussions. This panel is co-organised by the EU-funded SPARKS and SEGRID projects, which are investigating approaches to improve the security, privacy and resilience of future smart grids.

  • ● Dr Robert W Griffin, Chief Security Architect, RSA, the Security Division of EMC
  • - On The Use of Big Data and Security Analytics for Smart Grid Security
  • ● Dr Klaus Kursawe, Director Research and Development, ENCS
  • - Smart Grid Security: An Overview of Shortcomings of Existing Approaches
  • ● Dr Frank Fransen, Senior Scientist, Security at TNO
  • - Security for smart Electricity GRIDs (SEGRID) - an FP7 project on the protection of smart energy grids against cyber-attacks
  • ● Mr Gavin McWilliams, Senior Engineering R&D Manager (Secure Digital Systems), CSIT, Queen's University Belfast
  • - PUF-PKI for Electric Vehicle Recharging Infrastructure