Something new under the sun?

Aug. 22, 2012
I recently attended the Wireless Communication Alliance meeting on Smart Grid Cyber Security.
The invitation read "As we continue to build out our modern electric generation, transmission, and delivery infrastructure, we continue to learn more about what it takes to address the security challenges that come with it. In the earliest days of the Smart Grid, we often made security decisions based on educated guesses combined with limited experience." I agree with that!

I recently attended the Wireless Communication Alliance meeting on Smart Grid Cyber Security.
The invitation read "As we continue to build out our modern electric generation, transmission, and delivery infrastructure, we continue to learn more about what it takes to address the security challenges that come with it. In the earliest days of the Smart Grid, we often made security decisions based on educated guesses combined with limited experience." I agree with that!


Participants on the panel were Rohit Khera, Lead Cybersecurity Architect at S&C Electric Company; Craig Rosen, Director, Technology Risk & Strategy at PG&E; Chuck Speicher, Managing Principal, Secure System Center Practice at McAfee and Chris Villarreal, Regulatory Analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission.


The meeting included a fair amount of industry self-congratulation for proactively addressing that security-thing, and presented solutions stemming from the IT/network world as securing the Smart Grid. Nothing new so far. Those of you who have followed this blog know that I don't believe current approaches derived from securing IT systems adequately cover an important part of the grid. That is the physical processes managed by various control systems, from generation to distribution. And without adequately securing those processes, no lights. So I was pleasantly surprised when Rohit mentioned that S&C Electric is developing control system field devices capable of authentication, potentially remediating a significant weakness of many control systems and devices used in all sections of the grid (and elsewhere). This really piqued my interest and I look forward to learning more about it.

Maybe, there is something new under the sun.

Joe Weiss

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