Intelligent Utility Magazine Summer 2015
In This Issue
  • Convergence reemergence or convergence 2.0
    In many organizations, senior executives find cybersecurity confusing, highly technical and even scary-something best left to specialists. Similarly, executives have long struggled with the notion that individuals would intentionally target substations and control centers with a physical attack. Unfortunately, due to the economic advantages of technology we've witnessed over the past decade,...
  • A culture of security is about both people and technology
    For more than a century, the electric utility operations mantra has focused on two goals---reliability and safety. This focus, along with innovation, ingenuity and resiliency, has helped the U.S. become a leader on the global stage. However, the modern electric utility in the U.S. is a target for many who see an opportunity to destabilize the American economy or harm American citizens via...
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  • This means war, but are we prepared for cyber warriors?
     Cyber thieves take personal and financial data. Cyber pirates steal industrial and commercial intellectual property. But the cyber attacks that threaten to destroy or disarm critical infrastructure systems like the electric grid are true declarations of war. Pernicious cyber warriors seek to undermine society's sense of security and its standard of living. A survey conducted by McAfee and...
  • Do COTS technologies make you less secure and more vulnerable?
     By Evgeny LebanidzeThough the headline to this article reflects legitimate concerns among power utilities about the cybersecurity capabilities of commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and COTS' potential for introducing security vulnerabilities, in my view, the question needs to be restated.Because power utilities typically do not invent or manufacture their own software, firmware or...
  • Cybersecurity is super scary, but head-in-the-sand time is over
     According to Norm Judah, chief technology officer with Microsoft Services, the most popular topics in the industry-or what he labeled the "shiny thing in the sky"-changes. Most recently, it's been big data. Now, it's the Internet of Things.But the underlying problems with those morphing big shiny things remain-namely, security issues. As Judah pointed out during his luncheon speech at ABB's...
  • How well do you know your security shortcomings?
     The convergence of information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT)-one of the biggest trends in the industry today-has one positive, if unexpected, side effect, according to Brett Luedde, director of critical infrastructure security for ViaSat-namely that it gives utilities a leg up on security. Why? Because that convergence represents the start of different thinking and a...
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  • Where to start planning for substation and distribution site security
     The countdown has begun for the electric utility substation and distribution site. The standards for physical and cybersecurity for U.S. substation and distribution sites will officially move from CIP Version 3 to CIP Version 5 on April 1, 2016. CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection) levels, as established by the North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC), will tighten and...
  • How well do you know your cybersecurity hazards?
    Matt Gibson is betting the answer to that question is "not very well," though certainly not for lack of trying.Gibson, a long-time nuclear energy insider, currently helms an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) project that considers the use of hazards analysis to identify cybersecurity vulnerabilities.Traditionally, the field of cybersecurity (wherever it has been applied) dealt solely in...
  • How to apply analytics to improve utility distribution operations
    By now, we've all heard the term "big data." Big data refers to the vast amounts of data and information generated and collected both inside and outside of utilities. The rise of big data presents the opportunity to transform business practices across industries ranging from healthcare to agriculture to public services and more. By taking a closer look and analyzing the collected data, we can...
  • Can Europe’s “simmering frogs” leap to safety?
    Like frogs in a simmering pan of water, Europe's utilities are slowly boiling. Nobody knows this better, of course, than utilities themselves. As Ian Marchant, former CEO of British utility SSE puts it, data is changing everything and old-school utilities face extinction. "We've seen from music and other industries, when the customer gets control they do things the elite don't expect," he...