As cyber security becomes increasingly important in the fabric of American culture and government, more money and research is being put towards securing the smart grid. This so-called smart grid refers to the system that delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital technology. This is modernized electrical system being used to address problems of energy independence, global warming, and emergency resilience issues. Cyber attacks on such a system could cause massive damage and could possibly bring an entire community or nation to its knees. Pike Research recently stated that annual spending on smart grid cybersecurity will more than triple from $1.2 billion to $3.7 billion in 2015.
The increased spending was prompted by initiatives set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and others promoted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Their concerns were piqued when reports surfaced of a hack into the main U.S. power grid.
Pike’s Smart Grid Cyber Security report identifies five areas of focus for utility companies: policy, planning, and awareness; equipment protection and configuration management; monitoring and incidence response; access, audit, and integrity; and risk management.
Upgrades include equipment protection, configuration management, distribution automation and transmission upgrades. Utilities and infrastructure companies also will invest significantly in implementing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) smart meters, the firm said.
(Via Security Info Watch)