Using energy more efficiently is a growing concern for the stakeholders of every energy distribution system, from consumers, to distributors and generators, up to national governments. Smart Grids, i.e. distribution networks with increased reporting and management features, is one part of the answer to this concern. One of the most important element to enable Smart Grids are smart meters i.e. electricity or naturalgas meters that can communicate with the energy distributor as well as with other “smart” devices present in the consumer’s premises.
Smart meters deliver a number of benefits to households, commercial (stores, offices, …) and industrial (plants, production sites, …) consumers alike:
- They enable energy distributors to always bill consumers according to actual consumption instead of having to rely on estimated consumption.
- Improved readings can help consumers to understand how they use energy, and to potentially reduce it.
- Energy consumption can be adapted to energy production by having the smart meter turn on or off installations that can store energy, such as freezers or water heaters, which helps to deal with transient power supply such as solar or wind.
However, smart meters also introduce a number of new risks. On one hand, the potential for fraud is significant: consumers will try to hack their smart meters to attempt to reduce their reported consumption. Since meters are fitted on their own properties, consumers benefit from a large attack window. On the other hand, remote hackers might attempt large-scale attacks to turn off smart meters (or to turn on some connected pieces of equipment), resulting in potential national-scale disruptions. Finally, frequent reporting on energy use also creates a privacy issue, as this information could be exploited to nefarious ends. For a household, it could be used to build a reasonably accurate picture of the personal schedule of the occupants, a major help for someone looking for empty houses or flats to burglarize.
In addition, Smart Grids also involve data concentrators, i.e. devices that gather the readings of a certain number of smart meters (from a few dozens to hundreds of thousands), process them and finally forward them to national-level servers. Data concentrators bear similar risks as smart meters: while they are not as accessible, the volume of available data makes them interesting targets for hackers.
What we can do for you:
Prove & Run can help you address the security challenges of Smart Grids with a comprehensive range of products and services designed to help you protect your connected devices at the highest level of security while keeping the cost and time-to-market compatible with the constraints of this industry.
For example, Prove & Run’s products can be used to secure:
- Smart meters,
- Data concentrators.
For more details about how we can help you solve the security challenges of your Smart Grid projects, please contact moc.n1555813379urnev1555813379orp@s1555813379elas1555813379.Print