Grid automation drives increase in utility cybersecurity investments – report


Commenting on the nature of the utility landscape and market for cybersecurity technologies, Michael Kelly, research analyst with Navigant Research, said: “The proliferation of the smart grid and Internet of Things (IoT) has led to the deployment of billions of networked sensing devices, increasingly further out to the grid edge.

“While this paradigm shift has led to unprecedented data collection, network visibility, and situational awareness, it has also drastically increased utility vulnerability.”

In a bid to protect grid infrastructure and data prone to cyber-attacks due to increases in grid automation and digitisation, utility companies are expected to increase investments in cybersecurity technologies.

By the end of this year, the utility industry is forecasted to invest $1.7 billion in protecting energy systems against cyber attacks.

Navigant Research says it projects energy providers to prioritise investing in cybersecurity technologies in the same manner they invest in smart devices, communications and automation.

“Exponential growth in the number of attacks and threat actors is shaping a business environment in which the question utilities now face is when an incident will occur—not if,” states a company statement.

According to the findings of the research firm, utility investments in security technologies will focus on integrating their infrastructure and systems with cybersecurity technologies for use on a more permanent basis rather than in times when scanning is needed or in the event of a system malfunction.

The study focuses on utility investments in cybersecurity solutions to protect automated transmission and distribution, smart metering, smart grid IT and analytics systems.

Cybersecurity technologies

The report follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) to develop cybersecurity regulation, practices and standards for the electricity transmission system.

Under the agreement, the ENCS and ENTSO-E will develop state of the art cybersecurity standards and technologies under efforts to increase the resilience of Europe’s power system against cyber-attacks. Read more…


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