Smart meters: Securing data exchange


Moldovan metering manufacturer ADD Grup confirmed a deal this week with Thales, a critical information systems and cybersecurity company. ADD Grup will use Thales KeyAuthority to protect and manage the cryptographic keys used to secure data exchange between smart meters, in home displays and the central system.

Thales, leader in critical information systems and cybersecurity, and ADD Grup announce that Thales keyAuthority. is being used to protect the credentials inside smart meters and create a secure system-wide root of trust, protecting consumers, utility companies and the energy supply chain from fraud and cyber-attack.

ADD Grup is implementing Thales keyAuthority to protect and manage the cryptographic keys used to secure data exchange between smart meters, in home displays (IHDs) and the central system, providing a trustworthy and efficient solution for utility customers to manage security throughout their network. The entire supply chain from design to field operation is protected with a high performance, high assurance key management system to secure communication between each layer and that can scale to support future encryption requirements.

Key benefits

  • Automates key lifecycle management across all layers of the energy supply chain
  • Lowers risk of security breaches with high assurance, reliable hardware designed to FIPS 140-2 level 3
  • Centralizes policy using a single approach to control and audit keys
  • Dramatically shortens development and implementation with Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP)

Adrian Bulicanu, Software R&D Manager, ADD Grup says:
“Authentication, secure communications and high integrity messaging are core security foundations in the proliferation of connected things and smart devices and this is especially critical in the deployment and management of smart metering solutions as any compromise can have devastating results. Thales keyAuthority allowed us to deploy advanced security measures to our smart meter infrastructure giving customers and consumers peace of mind that their information is not tampered with and that the infrastructure is protected from attack or insertion of rogue devices.”

Cindy Provin, president, Thales e-Security Inc., says:
“Many utility companies are now installing smart meters to help customers monitor and manage their power usage and help them be more energy efficient. Unfortunately, with this connectivity brings risks. Poorly protected credentials and data stores inside smart meter devices leaves them vulnerable to tampering, potentially allowing attackers to manipulate energy use figures, cut off the power of specific meters and in sever circumstances even take them over completely. Thales is delighted ADD Grup chose Thales keyAuthority to provide the heightened security required to assure its customers that their data is protected and that the smart metering infrastructure is protected from attack.”