Friday, 31 May 2013

Communications Infrastructure for Smart Grids

Those of us involved in cyber security, critical infrastructure or the energy business, certainly cannot deny the importance of a secure, flexible, scalable backbone network infrastructure for our energy future. Yes we can reduce our carbon footprint, yes this there is a big debate on public or private networks and what technology is most suited for mass deployment.

As I discuss these issues with key utilities throughout Europe, one thing becomes very apparent. There is still, after all of the disruption and attacks on energy companies, press and "fear mongering," not nearly enough focus on security as there should be.

Is the Oil and Gas industry prepared for a cyber attack? Hacking groups have gone so far as even telling them the date of the attack so they can expect it. What goes through the minds of your multibillion dollar corporation when they read something like this? I will tell you... "It cant happen here."
None the less, there is a superior army of specialists far more educated than myself, in both Europe and North America tackling these issues as I type, and hopefully I can raise further awareness to help the cause.

As we progress towards the 3rd Annual Telecoms for Smart Grids conference in London this September 23rd and 24th, security again is my greatest concern. The event is not necessarily about security or privacy (although there is representation on these topics), it is about pilot projects, deployments and what communications infrastructure will be most effective. However, this is where core decisions makers come together to discuss, network and some decide who they may buy technology from and work with in the future.

In my opinion, this is where the cyber army should be making the most noise. Is this shiney new technology secure by design? Who put it together, has each component been tested and how do you know 100% there isn't a back door? Can this network be hacked? After all we are talking about meters, wireless, wimax, and long range radio....

I leave you with this thought and hope to meet you at Telecoms for Smart Grids in London

There was a great story released this week via BBC you might want to read too.

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