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Cybersecurity of the Electric Power Transmission and Distribution System

March 21, 2018
Tutorial at 2018 IEEE PES T&D Conference to discuss cybersecurity basics

Cyberattack on an electric power T&D communications system can have a devastating impact and cause widespread power outages as evident from the December 2015 cyberattack on a Ukrainian electric power distribution system. Securing electric power systems from cyberattacks is of national importance and in North America, NERC is spearheading the effort in developing and enforcing Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Standards for Bulk Electric System (BES).

Local and state regulating agencies are also looking at cybersecurity of the electric power distribution systems. Substation protection, automation and control systems along with distribution field devices have changed significantly in the past decade. These systems have become more interconnected and provide end users with much more information to agridllow for higher reliability and greater levels of control. Interoperability between different vendor products and systems has been achieved using open standards. This change in technology has not only brought huge benefits from an operational point of view, it also permits us to address cybersecurity issues similar to other traditional enterprise systems that have been facing the same industry challenges for years.

This tutorial will discuss cybersecurity basics including passwords and access management, authentication, encryption, network security monitoring, techniques in cyber alarming, logging and auditing. This tutorial will also cover NERC CIP requirements applicable to T&D systems along with brief overview of IEEE and IEC standards. Cybersecurity implementation examples of substation protection, automation and controls systems including devices inside, as well as outside the substations will also be discussed. Utility perspective on cybersecurity and NERC CIP compliance will be included.

Monday, April 16, 2018: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Speakers include:

  • J. Matt Cole, Sargent & Lundy LLC
  • Richard Corrigan, SDG&E
  • Steven Kunsman, ABB Inc.
  • Nathan Wallace, Ampirical
  • Murty Yalla, Beckwith Electric Co. Inc.

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