How DMR will Serve Utility Security Objectives

New technology brings new concerns about security. As the network moves from a centralized to distributed model, better perimeters need to be defined. While DMR does not solve all security issues, it is an essential piece of a secure network.

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Member: What happened was this big release of money into the infrastructure created a demand for products, such as smart meters, different RTUs, different IP–enabled devices that all of a sudden that really didn't have a chance to go through a proper cyber security checks. So the worst nightmare that Department of Energy had was: okay, now we are funding installations that could actually be the demise of the grid, because we are operating too fast to deploy technology that we don't quite understand how to secure yet. So that is kind of where we are today is that we are forging new ground in the U.S., trying to build this Smart Grid that we don't know what it is going to be yet. We want to make sure that each little piece interoperates with each other in a way that is secure and not –– that is not going to cause further reliability issues. Because the old model, it was quite –– you know, you knew where your perimeters were.

Moderator: They were centralized, which is easier.

Member: Yeah. You had: power generation is 'this', there are firewalls, I know how to secure this plant. Transmission at a high voltage level. Here's the firewall. This is contained. And distribution was a totally separate system. So now when you are talking about a Smart Grid and a home meter AMI infrastructure that can communicate with energy control centers which communicates with weather systems, which also communicates with marketing building, which Internet portals, which also communicates to low generation systems. Now you are breaking that hardened perimeters and creating this ubiquitous system that if you are not careful could create additional vulnerabilities in the process.

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