20 Jul 2017
Cyber-attack on an Electric Power T&D communications system can have a devastating impact and cause widespread power outages as evident from the Dec 2015 cyber-attack on a Ukrainian Electric Power Distribution System. Securing Electric Power System from cyber-attacks is of national importance and in North America NERC is spearheading the effort in developing and enforcing Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Standards for Bulk Electric System (BES). Local and state regulating agencies are also looking at cybersecurity of the Electric Power Distribution Systems. Substation protection, automation and control systems along with distribution field devices have changed significantly in the past decade. These systems have become more interconnected and provide end users with much more information to allow for higher reliability and greater levels of control. Interoperability between different vendor products and systems has been achieved using open standards. This change in technology has not only brought huge benefits from an operational point of view, it also permits to address cyber security issues similar to other traditional, enterprise systems which have been facing the same industry challenges for years.