Another survey says utilities taking cyber security seriously - really?

In November, ViaSat conducted a survey of 213 utility and smart grid personnel. The results can be found at http://smartgridresearch.org/wpcontent/uploads/sgi_reports/Utility_Cyber_Security_Survey_2012_INFOgraphic_ViaSat_Zpryme.pdf?utm_source=Smart+Grid+Insights&utm_campaign=a420661749-_ViaSat_INFOgraphic_12_13_2012&utm_medium=email. The results indicate a growing concern by utilities about cyber security and the potential of significant impacts. I wish I could believe these results. However, they appear to be inconsistent with what I have been finding. The results are also inconsistent with a recent Newton-Evans survey conducted for CIGRE on cyber security of control and protection presented at the October ICS Cyber Security Conference.

One of my litmus tests for utility industry cyber security improvement, particularly for transmission and distribution, is implementing the hardware mitigation for Aurora. Aurora is a gap in protection of the electric grid that affects EVERY substation. China is well aware of this vulnerability. It is hard for me to believe industry is taking security seriously when it has been more than 5 years since the Aurora demonstration and there is almost no hardware mitigation in place.

I hope industry actually is doing what the survey claims.
Joe Weiss

 

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