A new report from Pike Research, Smart Grid Cyber Security, concludes that initiatives to secure utilities’ infrastructure will increase investment in cyber security systems to $14.0 billion by 2018.
Senior analyst Bob Lockhart notes, “Smart grids need intelligence or they are not smart. Adding that intelligence to grids will increase their attack surface and utilities know this. But the industry is still playing catch-up to the threats facing power grids: the greatest needs lie in securing control system segments including transmission upgrades, substation automation, and distribution automation. However, despite this, many cyber security vendors are still focusing on IT security functions such as smart meter security, revealing a critical gap between current security offerings and the needs of the market.”
Lockhart says key market drivers include European smart metering initiatives are now in the deployment phase; the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has begun issuing fines for non-compliance with its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) reliability standards; and utilities believe they will achieve better benefits from distribution automation than from advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
Lockhart adds: “Much has changed for the positive in the smart grid security market. Unfortunately, one thing has not changed. Cyber security is still way behind the attackers. Even where strong countermeasures exist, they are not consistently deployed, and most sophisticated attackers look at smart grids from a systemic perspective while often the defenses have been installed in piecemeal fashion, without an architecture. This hands an enormous advantage to the attackers, one that the utility industry will grapple with neutralizing for years to come.”
Smart Grid Cyber Security assesses the threats and vulnerabilities of smart grid technologies and a detailed examination of key market drivers and barriers, along with profiles of key industry players and global forecasts. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com.