3. Enhanced Cyber Security: Transition from Vulnerable to Valuable Enterprises
Digital grid devices increase the probability of cyber exploitation, an ever-growing threat to destabilize utility operations. In order to stay ahead of cyber-attacks, utilities should look beyond existing security mechanisms and proactively shape solutions to fit individual requirements. The current utility security architecture should be augmented to meet the following requirements.
3.1 End-to-end Integrated Security Architecture
Smart grid devices extend digital technology into core electric grid and horizontally integrate several utility functions necessitating end-to-end security architecture. Such architecture must address security requirements for the entire value chain from generators to refrigerators. Industry recognized models such as ES C2M2 can guide architectures and the DOE & Industry sponsored NISTR 7628, ASAP –SG can provide a set of required guidelines.
3.2 End Point Security Solutions
Grid devices, being end points in the electric infrastructure, can be subjected to both physical and cyber exploitation leading to a hostile takeover of key services. For grid devices web scale confidentiality, integrity and access control solutions that are periodically tested and hardened must be considered. Device firmware changes must be thoroughly tested for security functions, before they are released to production. In spite of technological advances and best process controls, there will always be a minimal, residual risk of single device exploitation. Security implementations must ensure that a compromised device can be identified at the earliest and isolated from the grid so that the impact can be contained to a single device or entity.
3.3 Smart meter Security Architecture
Smart meters communicate using varied networks and frequency bands. There is not a universal standard and every utility must take into consideration a set of prioritized security requirements for their operating domain. At a minimum, solutions must incorporate end-to-end confidentiality, data integrity and access control/authorization services. The solution must be able to segregate meter switch commands, consumer sensitive data transfers and network administration commands to implement a tiered security model. The decision to deploy distribution devices on the same metering network may drive additional requirements such as the ability to logically partition networks to ensure data separation. Utilities must define a holistic set of high-level requirements and ensure that the architecture and solutions meet the end state criteria.
3.4 In-home Networks and Security Extensions
Market forces dictate the evolution of consumer in-home networks and utilities must partner with vendors to ensure that the solutions are secure and interoperable with grid infrastructure. It is imperative that meter, as an in-home gateway to a utility, is totally secure and the architecture is flexible enough to evolve with embedded security schemes in consumer devices. Security for emerging electric vehicles and roof-top solar (PV) must be considered early on as the retrofit could result in major changes to the previously deployed smart meters.
3.5 Extensions to Information Technology (IT) Security
It is critical that utilities adopt open security architecture to accommodate dynamic changes in the IT environment. That said, it is not easy to extend conventional defense-in-depth models beyond the enterprise to field infrastructure. Thus, models to detect intrusion and anomalous behavior in devices (and networks) along with models to predict cyber threats must be considered. In addition, Integrated Technologies should be utilized to strengthen security infrastructure. Examples include- biometrics, embedded pattern recognition, highspeed security hardware, context aware authorization, and spatial-temporal aware intelligent identity management. Back office tiered data center implementations increase operational complexity and should be evolved along with the operational maturity of the enterprise. Existing security processes should be re-evaluated and extended to include smart grid elements.
4. Strategic Crisis Management: Transition from Reactive to Resilient Enterprises
Recent trends in significant weather events, impacting electric infrastructure, is forcing utilities to look for a broader set of solutions, process models, communication schemes and scalable resource models to successfully manage such intense circumstances. The ability to handle all aspects of a crisis will bear a direct connect with stakeholder satisfaction and higher brand value. A crisis management execution model calls for detailed communication schemes, reasonable damage estimation models, dynamic work dispatch tools, predictive time to restore algorithms and asset classification schemes. A full scale solution must incorporate the following features:
4.1 Manage Stakeholders
In a widespread damage scenario, utilities will have to manage a spectrum of stakeholders with different sets of expectations. While regulators focus on performance, municipalities, city officials and political groups expect effective communication on restoration schedule. The process and solution models should provide automated status updates to this group. Early in the process, utilities should seek to draw in stakeholders and prioritize restoration.
4.2 Manage Communications
Timely and consistent communications of time to restore (TTR) is essential in engaging stakeholders during the entire restoration process. TTR messages must be geo-political centric and specific to commercial, critical and residential customer segments. Since the extent and pattern of damage, dynamic resource availability and restoration prioritization dictates TTR estimates; adaptive genetic algorithms should be considered over statistical predictive models.
4.3 Employ Smart work Planning & Scheduling
The order of restoration will be dictated by the extent of damage and utilities should be prepared to dynamically prioritize and dispatch to meet societal needs. In many cases, the early focus may have to be on key infrastructure facilities such as gas stations and grocery stores to quickly restore normalcy. Also, utilities may have to balance normal operations in non-impacted areas, while focusing on intense restoration in affected areas.
Technology should be deployed so that real-time updates on restored facilities can be obtained and communicated. Considering the likely impact on day-to-day technology in a crisis situation, it is important to be prepared with alternate solutions for field enablement such as: special communication devices, vehicle area networks, integrated spatial overlays, multi-function tablets, localized and pre-loaded electric network maps, and easy-to-use work management forms. Crowd sourcing many aspects of damage estimation and restoration status will enable societal participation and reduce total costs.