UK gov advised to communicate security of smart meter design


The report, compiled by the UK government Science and Technology Committee released last week, commented on the number of ‘unwarranted concerns’ being reported in the media around smart meter security, warning that this could reduce trust in the smart metering programme.

“The media reports relating to ‘loopholes’ in the smart meter system are based on misunderstanding,” the government said in response. [New report tackles constraints on UK smart meter rollout]

“Security lies at the heart of the smart metering system and has been a key consideration at every stage of system development to ensure there are no ‘loopholes’. The system operates on a national scale and has been designed as a secure end-to-end system, not just a collection of meters, energy suppliers and other components that have evolved individually.”

Smart meter security

“DECC, working with GCHQ and industry experts, designed the smart metering system with layers of security controls that can practicably be implemented by industry participants. Detailed threat modelling of hypothetical attacks, errors and failures has been undertaken to ensure these controls are proportionate to the current threat landscape and, together with trust modelling, cryptography and other controls that have been applied, are designed to ensure that the system is as secure as it needs to be in relation to this threat landscape,” it said.

This follows a statement earlier this week by the Institute of Directors, calling the smart metering programme unnecessarily complex and a suggestion from the Committee that “the government needs to do more to communicate the national benefits of smart metering alongside the potential cost savings and efficiencies for individual consumers. This was a weakness of the government’s evidence check statement, and relates to a lack of clarity over the ‘problem’ that smart meters aim to address. In its response to this report, the government should provide further information on how it expects smart metering to affect the required energy generation capacity of the network and the mix of energy generation sources.” [UK smart meter rollout under fire again]