I started my editorial in the last edition with a comment about the thing I loved the most about my job. It is very easy to enjoy the interaction with readers and gain insights into the real challenges facing utilities and people working within the sector. It is hard, however, to know what to focus on, what issues to tackle fi rst and how much information to provide before you become boring. There is so much out there…
Take the article on Heartbleed (pg. 20) for instance. I could, given the chance, have written on this particular subject for 5 or 6 pages, but have a feeling that by then you may well have wanted to throw the magazine out the window – and if you are reading this in the digital version, the results could have been catastrophic to your computer and windows.
As I get to explore this sector of the utility landscape, I am amazed at how the minutiae is often where the most interesting bits of information can be found. Did you know that there is a roaring trade in stolen digital certifi cates where you can earn up to $1 500 for such a certifi cate – a fortune – especially when compared with the $3 you can get for stolen social security or credit card information. This is just one of the new things I have learned while working on this edition.
The theme of security is continued in our cover story (pg. 14), which considers the role of standards in smart meter security – an increasingly important topic.
Our changing attitudes toward the utility sector are explored in more detail in this edition’s Big Question (pg. 49), which explores the role of the utility in the future and asks if the utility as we know it is on its way out.
Attitudes are changing in ASEAN too when it comes to metering, and the question that is asked is whether electronic meters are passé in that region (pg. 17).
Interoperability is something of a catch phrase being used when it comes to the smart grid and our feature on page 45 examines the role of interoperability in enabling distributed intelligence.
The Big Question for our next edition is this: Utilities are obviously not doing enough to secure connected devices and respond to cyber security threats. If they are not willing to be proactive out of choice, more regulation and stringent enforcement is needed to ensure vigilance.
As always, I love hearing from our readers – please keep the communication coming!