Smart grid synchrophasor cyber security guidelines released


Bobby Brown,
Project Manager,
Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 13, 2011 – A first-of-its-kind smart grid related cyber security document offering prescriptive, actionable guidance for utilities and vendors implementing synchrophasor technology has been released by power engineering and consulting service provider EnerNex.

This is the latest deliverable in a series aimed at integrating cyber security best practices prior to product development, mass deployment and adoption of technologies for smart grid systems.

The Wide-Area Monitoring, Protection and Control (Synchrophasors) Security Profile (WAMPAC) is a product of the Advanced Security Acceleration Project for the Smart Grid (ASAP-SG), and addresses the security of functions involved in the use of synchrophasor data and applications for wide-area monitoring, protection, and control of electric power systems.

ASAP-SG is an effort to get security integrated into solutions before mass production of smart grid solutions and gives “utilities [that] are focusing on regulatory compliance instead of comprehensive security” a means to tactically address security at the application level.

As no utility guidance exists for WAMPAC, the security controls in this document are inspired by and intended to cover the application of technical requirements found in NIST (IR 7628: Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security to synchrophasor systems and technology.  

While NIST IR 7628 serves as an industry-wide reference that a utility may use as a starting point to identify intersystem-level security requirements, this document provides the next level of detail by specifically addressing the use of synchrophasor technology and defining intrasystem-level security controls.

“Accelerating the development of key application security controls and guidance is vital to securing our nation’s electric grid,” commented Bobby Brown, director of Communication and Information Systems Security for EnerNex and project manager of ASAP-SG. “This effort has given the electric industry the greatly needed security kick-start necessary for deploying WAMPAC.”

ASAP-SG was established by EnerNex, along with the utilities of the Open Smart Grid Subcommittee of the UCA International Users Group in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and other interested parties, as a utility-driven, public-private collaborative effort to develop recommendations and best practices for architecting, designing, acquiring, integrating, and operating smart grid systems. Additional participants are sought to ensure the widest range of requirements are addressed.