Building A Smarter Smart Grid: Counteracting Cyber-Threats In Energy Distribution

10th December 2012
Posted By : Nat Bowers

Energy providers have arrived at a new frontier. Behind them lies the existing energy delivery infrastructure, some 70% of which is more than 30 years old, making it stress prone, labour intensive, and environmentally risky. Ahead lies the promise and potential of the smart grid, the path to more efficient, less costly, cleaner, and safer energy distribution.

This new path poses a dual challenge: to retrofit and modernize the existing grid and to design tomorrow’s energy grid with even more built-in intelligence, communication, and the flexibility to adapt to the future—all at an acceptable cost and without undue complexity.

Technology exists today to help providers meet these challenges. Unfortunately, the complexity and sheer number of smart devices required to connect seamlessly and provide the intelligence that makes the grid smarter also make energy systems vulnerable to sabotage by hackers and malware. Energy systems operators, engineers, regulators, and financiers are acutely aware that the modernization of the grid and incorporation of clean technologies cannot move forward without a comprehensive and effective approach to security.

As a leading provider of secure embedded technology solutions to the energy industry, Wind River is actively engaged with energy production and distribution operators worldwide to help meet these critical challenges. This paper explores the technology products and practices that are being deployed to address vulnerabilities in a more interconnected energy grid. It also sets forth a six-point process for enhancing security in devices and applications on which the delivery of energy is increasingly reliant.

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