Caruna AES upgrade

Implementation of latest smart meter and DCN firmware for Finnish DSO.

Networked Energy Services Corporation (NES), a global smart grid solution provider with the industry’s leading Energy Applications Platform (EAPTM), announced today the successful completion of a project to upgrade Caruna’s smart meters to the latest firmware versions.

For Caruna, this enhances compliance to GDPR, sets the standard for security regulation in the smart grid, and anticipates some of the new security standards such as those being defined by ESMIG for the EU.

Caruna has over 680,000 smart meters deployed for its customers in Finland. The project included upgrading meter and DCN firmware to the same up-to-date versions on all devices. Thanks to the reliable communications achieved by the NES meters, these operations were conducted remotely and automatically from the central Head End System (HES), with only a very small residual meter population requiring manual updates. The project was executed with oversight from Landis+Gyr, Caruna’s Service Operations partner and provider of its MDM solution, over 5 months. Due to nature of the mission critical environment, the project was managed to commercial and regulator SLAs in order to de-risk the whole activity. As well as providing the upgrade, NES conducted a training knowledge and tool transfer program to ensure Caruna and its Service Operations partner can independently perform future updates and security enhancements.

Users of NES technology enjoy the benefits of an industry leading smart grid security platform. NES meters apply an “always-on” approach to security settings and features making it impossible for security to be accidentally turned off. All communications performance and SLAs defined by NES are based on security being enabled; there is no trade-off between security and performance, as there is with other smart metering solutions. The deployment at Caruna was achieved without overall degradation of smart meter communications performance.

The latest NES OSGP-AES security implementation provides an enriched set of security notifications and alerts which will help Caruna track the threat of attack, identify when an attack is taking place, and localise it. Rather than simply providing a passive barrier that the cyber-attacker treats as an intellectual challenge to breach, the deployment of this technology provides an active deterrent to the cyber-attacker. Also, automatic key changes and meter-level compartmentalisation limit the exposure to and progression of an attack.

“We are very pleased with the execution of this project by NES and the comprehensive approaches to reduce risk and consumer disruption”, says Tommi Pyhähuhta, Head of Measurement Services, Caruna. “The security and encryption features provided in the smart meters at our perimeter enable Caruna to provide high level of security to our customers. We can better protect their privacy and their energy supply. We can also better protect our own investment in the smart grid assets.”

“We are very pleased to have been trusted by Caruna to undertake such an important project,” said David Thomson, President and CEO of NES. “Making the smart grid up to date and secure is an objective for us all, especially in the low-voltage grid where the opportunities for attack are widest. With the latest firmware and the security features NES provides, the protection and the enhanced monitoring will allow Caruna to quickly identify threat and attack, identify the source of the attack, and quickly initiate counter activities. They can now both to defend the grid, and to take the fight to the cyber-criminals.”

About Networked Energy Services Corporation (NES)

Networked Energy Services Corporation is a global smart energy leader in the worldwide transformation of the electricity grid into an energy control network, enabling utilities to provide their customers with a more efficient and reliable service, to protect their systems from current and emerging cybersecurity threats, and to offer innovative new services that enable active, intelligent use of energy.

NES was formed as a result of the spinoff of Echelon Corporation’s Grid Modernisation Division in October 2014. NES is headquartered in the US with R&D centers located in Silicon Valley, North Dakota and Poland, and sales offices throughout the world. NES’ smart grid technology is used in nearly 40 million smart meters and other smart end devices around the world. NES is a member of the OSGP Alliance, a global association of utilities and smart grid companies, which promotes the Open Smart Grid Protocol and cooperates to provide utilities greater value by enabling true, independently-certified, multi-vendor interoperability based upon open international specifications and standards. 

You can find out more information about NES, its Patagonia Energy Applications PlatformTM (including grid management software, distributed control nodes, and smart meters) and services at: www.networkedenergy.com