Grid Security Essentials: How to Build a Comprehensive Security Strategy

Cyber threats are of increasing concern for the utility industry, especially in the aftermath of an alarming coordinated attack on a San Jose substation in 2013. During the attack, six underground fiber optic lines were severed and over 100 rounds of ammunition were fired at the substation’s transformers. The result was over $15 million in damage.

This was by no means an isolated incident. According to an analysis of federal energy records conducted by USA Today, a physical or cyber attack on the nation’s energy grid takes place once every four days. In the midst of such ongoing threats, it is more important than ever for utility providers to invest in appropriate security measures.

Authentication and Encryption

Digital signatures are used to perform authentication, which, in turn, ensures that only authorized parties are given access to sensitive resources. Encryption prevents communicated data from being revealed to other devices. Well-developed authentication and encryption are both essential components of a sound grid security system.

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