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Cyber Attack! - Smart-Grid Security

Intelligent power grids present vexing cyber security problems

Fortnightly Magazine - January 2008

behind that.”

Such a layered approach helps contain a cyber attack that is partly successful; to stop it or at least slow it down, so operators can intervene. “You want a well-planned set of procedures for responding to different types of attacks,” Highfill says.

The final layer of cybersecurity is the human layer—the people who perform, maintain and update cyber security protocols. Adversaries in the cyber security battle are human beings, with objectives and tactics that will shift and adapt over time. Likewise, securing the smart grid will require smart and adaptive people, as well as a corporate culture, focused on protecting the system.

“We’re not operating in a safe environment, but we need the smart grid,” Bucciero says. “This is part of the culture change the industry is going through. It’s a matter of plain economics, and a matter of being safe.”