Smart Grid Network Security Spending to Reach $14 Billion

Monday, March 12, 2012



According to a report released by Pike Research titled “Smart Grid Cyber Security”, cumulative spending for securing the nation's smart grid deployment will reach $14 billion by the year 2018.

The report estimates that as much as 63% of the expenditures for smart grid network security will be concentrated on the control systems governing the power grids operations.

“Cyber security remains a check-the-box exercise for many utilities, with spending limited to whatever is needed to survive compliance audits. As some technologies, such as smart metering, near a decade of thought and deployment, the approach to cyber security has become more thoughtful. One thing, unfortunately, has not changed: cyber security is still way behind the attackers,” said senior analyst Bob Lockhart in a press release.

The emergence of the Stuxnet virus proved to be a major motivating factor in the push for greater network security in the smart Grid, according to Pike.

"Utilities have – as many predicted – realized that their grids are no longer isolated or protected from attackers. Smart grids need intelligence or they are not smart. Adding that intelligence to grids will increase their attack surface and utilities know this," the company states.

Even with the increase in attention and the dedication of additional resource for the protection of the Smart Grid, Pike believes the industry still has a long ways to go in shoring up systems to prevent major disruptions at the hands of attackers.

"Unfortunately, one thing has not changed. Cyber security is still way behind the attackers. Even where strong countermeasures exist, they are not consistently deployed. More sophisticated attackers look at smart grids from a systemic perspective while often the defenses have been installed in piecemeal fashion, without an architecture. This hands an enormous advantage to the attackers," the company stated.


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