While smart meters are watching your home electricity consumption, and intelligent sensors are keeping an eye on grid health, who — or what —...

While smart meters are watching your home electricity consumption, and intelligent sensors are keeping an eye on grid health, who — or what — is watching the meters and sensors?

It’s a reasonable question, considering how much more data and how many more potential points of entry a smart-energy infrastructure will generate.

“Traditionally, the energy infrastructure’s greatest defense was its obscurity and isolation in terms of systems and protocols, and yet we’ve seen those systems come under direct attack as they become more connected,” says Eric Knapp, director of critical infrastructure markets for NitroSecurity, a New Hampshire-based information security provider. “The smart grid is neither obscure nor isolated. The industry needs to move quickly to establish security intelligence for the smart grid, because the threat is real.”

NitroSecurity has just come out with a new version of its NitroView solution for security information and event management (SIEM) that’s focused specifically on the needs of utilities managing smart grids. The new version includes additional support for the specific devices, protocols and applications in intelligent distribution and metering, as well as expanded capabilities to collect and analyze the vast volumes of data a smart grid will generate.

NitroView V8.5 includes:

  • Support for the unique identifiers and addresses used in the smart grid, such as the electronic serial numbers (ESNs) used in advanced meters.
  • Direct log and event collection from smart-grid devices like meters and metering systems to provide utilities with centralized log collection and analysis for situational awareness.
  • Support for specialized industrial security devices to support direct security monitoring within the transmission and distribution infrastructure.
  • Direct monitoring support for both industrial and enterprise network protocols to provide security between smart-grid and enterprise business networks.
  • Expanded receiver collection capabilities to support the hundreds of thousands of monitored meters and other devices in a smart grid.

Accordng to NitroSecurity, most smart0grid elements were not built with direct security threats in mind, requiring external security devices to be added or created specifically for this new challenge.

Greenbang

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