Wednesday, 5 April 2017

How to Protecting Bulk Power Systems from Hackers

Consistency Measure of Electricity Grid – Escalating

Consistency measures of electricity grid have been escalating to new norm since it tends to include physical security together with cyber-security. Fears to any of them could trigger instability resulting to blackouts as well as economic losses.

Several tend to take it for granted of turning on the light. Though in reality, the energy drawn from the electrical grid in brightening homes, freeze food as well as watch TV is said to be a part of a complex together with a widespread system. Comprehending the susceptibilities of the system and the dependability is a vital step in improving its security.

Fresh research headed by scientists from Michigan Technological University explored in the so-called scenarios wherein the hackers tend to exploit the security flaws implementing a disturbing plan of cyber-attacks. Recently the Journal IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid had published their work. Chee-Wooi Ten, lead author, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Tech stated that the fundamental problem was an opening between physical equipment and intangible software.

 Improvements in smart grid technology like smart meters in homes, management systems for the purpose of distributed energy resources such as wind together with solar production with instrumentation system in power plants, control centres or substations, creates improvements in monitoring as well as access for hackers.

Convenience/Cost Reduction Streamlines Process

Ten had commented that `ten years back, cyber security did not exist and the same was not spoken about and was not an issue. He jokes that people presumed that he was crazy for suggesting the possibility of power grid hacking. He further added that now with events such as in Ukraine last year together with malware like Stuxnet, hackers could plan a cyber attack which could result in larger power outages, people would begin clutching the severity of the issue.

 He further pointed that the hackers focus on specific areas of the control network of power infrastructure and targeted on the devices which tends to control it. Mechanized systems are inclined to control most of the grid from generation in the transmission for usage.

According to Ten, the convenience as well as the cost reduction of automation streamlines the process though without solid security means, it could also make the system susceptible. The interconnectivity off the grid could also result in cascading impacts leading to blackouts, equipment failure and is landing with the areas isolated and cut off from the maid power grid.

Connections/Asses Flaws Utilising Framework

Ten together with his colleagues arrived at connections and assess flaws utilising framework which would regularly assess the block of a power grid as well as its interconnection with their adjoining grids. With the use of quantitative systems in arranging cyber security protection would ensure power grids are operated in a much more secured and safe manner.

Ten also mentioned that it is like measuring blood pressure. He added that one tends to know that their health is at risk since it monitors systolic and diastolic numbers and hence one would work out more or eat healthier. The grid requires established metrics for health also; a number to gauge if one is ready for this security challenge. After gaining an understanding of the weaknesses of the system, it tends to get a lot easier to be strategic and shoreline security risks.

Tens says that in the future, improving regulations with particulars to match actual infrastructure requirements, providing cybersecurity insurance could be beneficial.