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      A Separate Network for Control System CyberSecurity

      , Ph.D.

      6th International Symposium for ICS & SCADA Cyber Security Research 2019 (ICS-CSR)

      Cyber Security Research

      10th-12th September 2019

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          The electric utility sector smart-grid definition implies the need for ubiquitous communications and extensive controls to increase reliability, efficiency, flexibility, and cost effectiveness. Smart-grid features include demand-response capabilities, advanced controls, DER integration, increased situational awareness, smart metering, advancement of ancillary services, time-of-use pricing, and peak curtailment, to name a few. The communication technologies at the smart grid’s heart provide the backbone for these features, which risks being exploited by adversaries. Furthermore, adding numerous automated services and devices to support smart-grid objectives risk compromise. In essence, the attack surface of the utility control systems is significantly larger. For example, smart meter and Advanced Metering Infrastructure systems, when implemented incorrectly, could provide injection points to the utility and meters equipped with demand response capabilities introduce the possibility of direct customer power disconnect.

          A separate network for control system cybersecurity defines a highly secure, resilient and redundant critical communications, sensing, and technical assistance solution supporting all elements of the electricity enterprise and its supply chain. It is designed to retain national continuity of operations, enable rapid restoration, and facilitate cost-effective protective measures to thwart consequences of cyberattacks, operational and physical threats, and natural disaster. Security and resilience enhancements are not about bolting on a costly, cumbersome exoskeleton. As a nation, we must infuse the grid’s operational architecture digital native attributes (DNA) with modifications resulting in immunity to attack and degradation. Objectives of a project to implement utilization ofa separate communication network include:

          • Implementing cyber defensive measures beyond what is possible on the public internet.

          • Enhancing grid state monitoring with advanced sensing, measurements, escalating alert and situational awareness.

          • Using existing buried treasure of infrastructure (e.g., dark fiber) as a cost-effective protective measure, exploiting advanced communications (5G-LTE private wireless) and cybersecurity technologies suitable for the expanding smart grid requirements.

          • Using living laboratories to test security functionality and resilience – collaborating with utilities and suppliers for proof of concept.

          A review of this concept is presented.

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          Most cited references 3

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          The realized value of fiber infrastructure in Hamilton County, Tennessee

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            Why a power grid attack is a nightmare scenario

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              Utility ‘war games’ players to face an apocalypse scenario

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                Author and article information

                September 2019
                September 2019
                : 144-156
                Oak Ridge National Laboratory

                One Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 USA
                © Peter L. Fuhr. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. 6th International Symposium for ICS & SCADA Cyber Security Research 2019

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                6th International Symposium for ICS & SCADA Cyber Security Research 2019
                Athens, Greece
                10th-12th September 2019
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Cyber Security Research
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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