We need to embrace a new approach in which cyber security is not seen as a business blocker but as a business enabler. At least, that is what Emil Gurevitch (Project lead on Smart Grid Security, SEAS-NVE), Johan Rambi (Privacy & Security Advisor, Alliander and Interim Chair of EE-ISAC) and Alex Campbell (Director EMEIA Advisory Services - Information Security, EY) argue. Cyber security is an enabling factor and should function as a quality criterion for your grid, say these gentlemen. They discussed this new approach at EUW15 as part of the Engerati Energy Talks series.
To prevent cyber security from being a show stopper, your strategy should be balanced between a protective, detective and responsive approach. Realistically, in the end utilities cannot only prevent attacks. Whether it's next week or in 3 years, the attacker will eventually will hack into your system. In that case, it is key to be able to detect in an early stage and respond with adequate incident management.
Utilities need to apply a holistic approach to security and privacy. With the implementation of smart meters this now also includes data protection issues. In order to build a trust relationship with your customers, next to protecting data you now also need to be transparent about the way in which your are using this data.
Cyber security is part of your grid. It is essential to have a fundamental understanding of your grid in order to be able to protect it. No two grids are the same and there is no 'silver bullet'. So do learn from your peers, but be aware of the unique characteristics of your own grid.