New Industry Products

EnerNex Announces Smart Grid Security Guidelines for the Utility Industry

January 26, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

EnerNex announced the latest deliverables in a series of Smart Grid related Cyber Security documents providing prescriptive, actionable guidance for utilities and vendors implementing Smart Grid systems. The documents, also referred to as Cyber Security Profiles, are part of the 2010 phase of the Advanced Security Acceleration Project for the Smart Grid (ASAP-SG) to accelerate the development of security requirements and standards for the electric utility industry.

EnerNex, along with the utilities of the Open Smart Grid Subcommittee of the UCA International Users Group in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and other interested parties, joined to form ASAP-SG.

ASAP-SG provides all electric utilities uniform access to a greater body of knowledge and expertise than would otherwise be available to any one utility. Currently the team has begun development on a Wide Area Management, Protection and Control Security Profile that includes SynchroPhasors.

The project was created to be a utility-driven, public-private collaborative effort to develop recommendations and best practices for architecting, designing, acquiring, integrating, and operating smart grid systems. DOE is helping to support ASAP-SG by matching contributions from utilities dollar-for-dollar.

Bobby Brown, Director of Communication and Information Systems Security for EnerNex and project manager of ASAP-SG, stated: "These deliverables are vital to the industry as utilities are deploying smart grid systems and infrastructure. This clear, actionable guidance outlined in these documents ensure security is built-in to the deployment of Smart Grid."

In the first phase of the project, three application centric Security guidelines were produced and delivered to the Open Smart Grid Subcommittee and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) - Cyber Security Working Group covering: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI); Third Party Energy Data Access; and Distribution Management.

There is opportunity for all North American electric utilities to take advantage of DOE funding and the concerted effort of industry stakeholders to produce proper, timely, and cost-effective security best practices for Smart Grid. EnerNex, DOE and EPRI are looking for additional participants to ensure the widest range of requirements are addressed.

These living documents were made possible through substantial funding by a group of North American utilities in collaboration with the DOE. The project leverages dedicated domain expert resources from EnerNex, EPRI, Consumers Energy, Florida Power & Light, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison, InGuardians, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

The project is also contributing work to other standards bodies, such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 62351 Data and Communications Security, to facilitate and accelerate community Cyber Security efforts. Moving forward, additional Security guidelines are being developed based on utility stakeholder requirements and priorities.

Erich Gunther, EnerNex Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, and Chairman of the UCA International Users Group stated: "EnerNex is pleased and is looking forward to continuing our role of organizing and managing the next phase of smart grid security guidance work. The collaboration of this large array of industry experts and organization has resulted in a direct impact in advancing cyber security for a Smart Grid."