The use of ICTs within the electrical grid means an evolution from
isolated structures into open and networked environments where the
subversion of power control systems has become a reality. The
restructuring of the power sector and the emergence of the smart grid
has largely ignored the issue of cyber security. Industrial control
systems have poor methods of authentication, little encryption, and are
not often capable of detecting intrusions. By failing to address cyber
security, and focusing on the cost-savings and gained efficiencies of a
market-oriented model, the susceptibility to cyber-attacks has grown.
ABI Research estimates the spending on cyber security solutions to
secure the infrastructure will total $2.9 billion globally by the end of
2013. "Cyber-attacks that can cause serious damage to electrical grids
are a reality. Operators need to view cyber security as a core,
integrated requirement of their offering and not as a secondary add-on,"
says Michela Menting, ABI Research's senior analyst for cyber security.
Efforts by governments and standardization bodies to tackle
vulnerabilities within power control systems are raising the level of
awareness. This is in turn driving a dedicated market in cyber security
for critical infrastructure, targeting the security of industrial
control systems, substations and advance metering capabilities.
Manufacturers such as GE, Siemens, and Honeywell offer dedicated cyber
security services to accompany their ICS product offerings. Other larger
niche vendors such as Advantech, AGT International, AlertEnterprise,
Maxim Integrated offer specialized SCADA security solutions and
companies like 4Secure, OwlComputing Technologies, and DNV KEMA propose
expert consulting services. A number of energy companies have also made
significant efforts at implementing a cyber security culture within
their electric grid operations, such as Alliander, Enel, and E.On Nordic.
These findings are part of ABI Research's Cyber
Grids Research Services (www.abiresearch.com/research/service/utilities-and-smart-grids/).
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of
trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From
offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research's worldwide team
of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and
advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com,
or call +1.516.624.2500.
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