After perusing the online version of the DistribuTECH 2012 program, I was pleased to see that the topic of security was the subject of many panel discussions. This is great news since it shows that the industry – especially those focused on the smart grid and smart meters – are really paying attention to security of these systems. Well done!
I was also pleased to see that SCADA – aka Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – was even raised as a topic of at least four panels. What was also good to see was that Smart Water Meter SCADA and security was part of the dialogue. Again, Well Done!
It appears that the industry is willing to openly acknowledge and respect the fact that security is necessary for the success of all the smart metering and SCADA systems deployed – whether it be for electric systems or water systems or even sewage systems. They all need to be secured in order to ensure that the data is protected, the control signals are not modified, and the systems are available when needed.
I was surprised to note, however, that the topic of privacy of the smart meter data was not a part of the discussions. In fact, this Summer’s ruling from the State of California Public Utility Commission and that there is an entire volume of the Smart Grid Cybersecurity Guidelines (NISTIR 7628) have certainly raised awareness of the need to maintain the privacy of the smart meter data; however, I wonder why it wasn’t raised as a topic at DistribuTECH – especially since they have moved ahead to include the “S” word – Security.
Anyway, it is good to see that the distribution side of the industry is advancing and including open discussions about the security of these systems. Keep up the good work! Just include privacy at next year’s meeting.
By the way, please stop by the Verizon Booths #4411 and 4721 when you are at DistribuTECH this week! We’d be happy to talk to you about our security offerings for smart grid infrastructure implementation and assessment.
Do you Think Forward?