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In response to growing concerns about the current electric grid's vulnerability to cyber attack, there’s a push on several fronts to develop better security solutions for the Smart Grid. Today, utilities typically link grid monitoring and control systems to open networks such as the Internet and critics charge they are not doing enough to reduce risks. Watch this section for insights on the future of cyber security – as well as solutions for safeguarding physical properties such as substations and transmission towers.

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U.S. power grid hit by hackers 79 times so far this year

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, cybersecurity, utility cybersecurity, electric utilities
News of cyberattacks on the U.S. energy grid seems almost continuous. But it’s still startling to see that the country has been hit by hackers a total of 79 times since the beginning of the year. Click to learn more about the attacks and why it is a particular concern for the energy industry.

DHS warns of serious cyber threat to critical U.S. infrastructure

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, cybersecurity, cyber attacks, Russia, electric utilities
The Department of Homeland Security has warned of a serious cyber threat to transmission grids, oil and gas pipelines, water systems and more critical infrastructure. The Russian government, DHS says, appears to be behind the threat.

VC funding, cybersecurity and more news from smart grid markets

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid markets, cybersecurity, smart grid managed services, biofuels
This week’s smart grid markets roundup offers a look at a variety of sectors ranging from cybersecurity and managed services to venture capital funding and biopower. The outlook is generally good, and notably so for managed services and biopower.

Should you enroll your utility in this expanded cybersecurity program?

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, cybersecurity, smart grid security, NERC, electric utilities
Electric utilities often find themselves between a rock and a hard place, and cybersecurity is a good example. If they share security problems they risk damaging their stock prices or attracting more attention from hackers. If they don’t share, other utilities could be at risk. But changes in an automated data sharing program could give them some much needed breathing room.

Why utilities need to worry about the 10 most vulnerable consumer devices

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, smart meter security, consumer devices, electric utilities
Those consumer gadgets that make life more convenient, such as sprinkler controllers or garage door openers, don’t sound dangerous. But they could be. Read the story to learn what a security professional has to say about how those and other IoT consumer devices could attract hackers who want to get at smart meter data.

Smart grid attack scenarios (understand the threat to defend against it)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, smart grid security cyberattacks, electric utilities
As the number of threats to the U.S. electric grid increases, the need to raise awareness about them becomes even more critical. Chances are you’ve read several news accounts describing attempted grid attacks from hostile countries. While there are defenses, understanding threats is the first step to preparing for them.

How to attack a smart meter (Utilities: better find out before the criminals do)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, smart meter security, electric utilities
It makes sense. As smart meters become more prevalent, they provide more opportunities for criminals to misuse them. And some of the ways they could do that may surprise you. Read the story to learn about what smart, well-equipped criminals are capable of… keeping in mind that there are defenses against those tactics.

How to keep your smart meters safe from attack (and not just cyber-attacks)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, smart grid security, cybersecurity, strategy, electric utilities
In the first installment of his two-part series, Kris Ardis of Maxim Integrated alerted you to seven serious threats to smart meter security and what their consequences could be. Now he’s back to share technology that can thwart those dangers.

7 serious smart meter security threats that do NOT involve hacking the network

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart meters, smart grid security, cybersecurity, cybersecurity strategy
In the first installment of a two-part series, Kris Ardis of Maxim Integrated defines smart meter security risks that don’t involve hacking into the utility network. They do involve the smart meter life cycle itself, and the possible consequences he describes are more than alarming.

Putin targets U.S. power grid for attack

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, cybersecurity, cyber attacks, electric utilities
A major hacking campaign has compromised computer systems at over 1,000 utilities in the U.S. and Europe, and some observers believe the attacks are Russian in origin. Read the story for details and to learn what one cybersecurity expert says utilities should be doing (and how much they should be spending) to thwart cyber attacks.

What NERC got wrong in its new security recommendations

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, physical security, NERC, policy and regulation, electric utilities
While generally getting a thumbs up from the electric power industry, NERC’s new physical security standards contain flaws, says Battelle’s Jason Black. Click to read his concerns and suggestions for improving the standards.

Recommendations for Implementing Comprehensive Bulk-Power System Security Standards

The purpose of this white paper is to provide recommendations for the implementation of FERC’s Order of March 7, 2014 to address physical security of the Bulk-Power System. These recommendations are designed to help ensure that the maximum system-wide benefits are obtained from the resulting enhanced physical security measures.

Grid security: Why it may be safer to switch our control centers to the cloud

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, control center security, cloud computing, smart grid research
A lot of utility professionals may scoff at the thought of moving control center functions to the cloud, but one group of researchers believes it could be a way to protect critical systems and keep the electric grid up and running. Take a look at our brief summary to find out why.

Now state regulators are considering how to enforce cybersecurity

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, security, cybersecurity, utility cybersecurity, policy and regulation, PEPCO
It’s time to add state regulators to the growing list of agencies that want to get involved in utility cybersecurity. The public utility commission for the District of Columbia has never done a detailed examination of the local utility’s cybersecurity defenses but says it will conduct one now – because the issue has become so urgent. Other states have similar plans.

The grid attack that could kill 9 out of 10 Americans (and North Korea is capable)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, electric grid threats, cybersecurity, grid physical security, electric utilities
Not that utilities need anything else to worry about with cyber and physical security issues as critical concerns among others. But… a Congressional hearing found something even more alarming: the catastrophic and deadly results of an electromagnetic pulse attack.

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