Introducing The Smart Grid Security Market Overview

Security in the Smart Grid ecosystem is getting more attention by the day. Although many of the traditional security measures are applicable to the Smart Grid environment, there’s a need for the specific tools to handle emerging security vulnerabilities. This Market Overview will focus on the security vendors in the Smart Grid space. The role of security is evolving gradually in the Smart Grid ecosystem, and therefore our utility as well as non-utility customers are asking about vendors that can provide secure solutions.

The Smart Grid IT market is still emerging and security seems to be a promising component of it. We see four vendor categories when it comes to security market:

  • Traditional IT vendors They embed security functionality in their IT infrastructure such as communication, networking, servers, and middleware gear, as it’s expected of these solutions. They may or may not have specific security tools that help with Smart Grid deployments.  But many of them are introducing new products and services gradually. Example vendors are Cisco, Alcatel Lucent, Sprint, ATT, Verizon, Oracle, IBM, Alvarion, Motorola, HP, and others.
  • Specialized IT vendors — They are focused either on the critical infrastructure industry such as utilities or just Smart Grid. These vendors have emerged to provide custom solutions for Smart Grid ecosystem and embed security features in their products. Example vendors are Trilliant, Silver Spring Networks, SmartSynch, Itron, eMeter, Siemens, GE, and others.
  • Consulting services — They help utilities with initial planning, architecture, and technology integration. They can also help utilities with systems development. There are well established IT service integrators and consulting services as well as specialized vendors. Example vendors are Accenture, EnerNex, IBM, SAP, Oracle, PwC, and others.
  • Point security vendors — These are traditional as well as utility focused security vendors that have offerings for Smart Grid ecosystem. This is an emerging area, and we expect vendors to pick up in this space. Example vendors are McAfee, Symantec, SafeNet, SecureWorks, Industrial Defender, Secure Crossing, and others.

Understanding security offerings can be a daunting task since there is no shortage of vendors supplying solutions in the Smart Grid space. Hence, this Market Overview will aim to ease the complexity and analyze the market scope.

Some of the criteria that are included in this Market Overview are:

Which of the following areas below do you offer security solutions for?

Home Area Network

Utility Operations Network (back office, middleware, backend systems)

Wide Area Network

Field Area Network

Is your solution offered as a managed service?

 

Do you have a formal risk assessment offering?

 

Do you perform penetration testing on Smart Grid and metering components?

 

Do you provide vulnerability assessment and management tools?

 

Do you offer threat and risk analysis tools?

 

What data protection features does your solution offer?

Data Encryption (Smart meters to collectors, collectors to backhaul, Backhaul to utility operations)

Different cryptographic techniques and encryption levels

Key Management

Certification management

Rights management

Encrypted data storage (backup etc.)

Do you provide secure communication tunnels (SSL, IPSec)?

 

Do you offer device authentication and monitoring?

 

Do you provide secure procedures for meter firmware upgrade?

 

This is only a partial list of questions; you can find much more information when the market overview is published. In the meantime, we would like to hear your thoughts. What would you like to know about the Smart Grid market? If you’re a utility or involved in the Smart Grid project, you can also participate by taking a short survey here:

**Survey is now live!**

Looking forward to your participation. . .

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Comments

List of questions should

List of questions should prompt for active engagement in certifications and accreditation process(es) for security products

Securing the "Internet Things"

I wanted to share my latest article published in Government Technology Magazine about the Intel McAfee merger and how it relates to smart grid security. I hope you find it a useful contribution your new blog. See: http://www.govtech.com/dc/articles/769172 .

thank you for everyone's comments

Clinton and Larry thanks for your comments. Clinton your comments about the certifications is well taken. Larry, I think I replied to your post on Linkedin, great article.