Folks working at UC Berkeley’s Power Standards Lab have developed and are now in the tech transfer stage with a new tool to detect and counter cyberattacks. Resiliency of the nation’s bulk power system and distribution networks has become a major priority for regulators and utilities. While natural events have been the focus historically, the concern over cyber threats has jumped in priority. Over the last month we have heard more reports about hackers, potentially the Russians, attempting to gain access to our power network similar to what was experienced in Ukraine in 2015.
Berkeley Lab’s new tool combines commercially available sensor technology with cybersecurity and machine learning algorithms to reduce the risk that energy delivery might be disrupted by a cyber incident. The concept involves integration of a new, small scale or micro-phasor measurement unit (PMU) into a SCADA network and use of mathematical algorithms to learn the normal functioning of these systems so that any sort of breach or attempted alteration can be detected. The redundancy of using PMUs and SCADA increases detection potential and the speed of the PMUs improve reaction times.
Learn more about this new tool for effective distribution level cyber risk detection at: http://cs.lbl.gov/news-media/news/2018/combination-of-old-and-new-yields-novel-power-grid-cybersecurity-tool/. If you want to learn what our Department of Homeland Security is doing about cyber security, check out their Cyber Security Division (CSD) website at: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/csd-resources.