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The purpose of this assignment is to develop skills to independently think of innovation. Students will be able to complete the following ULOs:

a. Explain the major methodologies for secure networks and what threats they address;


b. Identify and report network threats, select and implement appropriate countermeasures for network security.

Benefits of smart grid systems

The smart grid is a typical type of electrical grid which includes several types of operational and energy measures [9]. The smart grid includes smart appliances, smart meters, renewable energy sources and other type of energy efficient resources.

In this case Smart Grid is in use by the CPS technologies. This is used for developing and implementing several measurement sciences for modernization of existing power system of the Nation’s electrical power systems. By the modernization of the existing power system efficiency of the system, sustainability and reliability will be improved by the incorporation distributed intelligence, power flows and bi-directional communication. To implement a smart power grid communication infrastructure and the wireless networks plays a big role.

In this paper a literature review on the Smart Grid Network will be given to describe the smart grid network properly. Following the literature review current or potential future security issues in the smart grid network will be evaluated briefly. In the next discussion, solution of the identified issues will be described. Further in this paper a case study will be discussed on recent attack on power systems.

According to the author Radhika, Sivalingam and Anand, the smart grid network is mainly designed for enhancing the existing power systems which makes the current system independent and spontaneous without the intervention of the humans. The smart grid network consists some sensors as a system part of the devices and this devices use this sensors to detect the faults in the main power flow. In this article the authors proposed smart monitoring and controls devices using the intelligent electronic devices [1]. Also, in this article the authors has provided the insight of the network architecture of the smart grid devices. Actually, this smart grid devices uses the sophisticated network architecture to determine the flow of the power from the source point to the end point which is the customers. This network architecture of the smart grid devices includes the demand supply curve for mapping the power generation with the main supply. Form the network architecture it is determined that when the demand of the electricity is higher than actual amount of supply for a particular period of time then tariff becomes fixed and a warning is thrown to the users regarding the payment rate which helps to meet higher level of tariff. In the network architecture the trust based authenticity is used for security purposes.

Vulnerabilities of smart grid networks

In this article the author Shamshiri, Gan and Tan, has stated that implementation of the smart grid in the electrical power systems has been increased. To justify the reason behind this the authors has presented the usefulness of the smart grid networks which is attractive for both the consumers and the energy consumers. As per the authors the main challenges related with the successful realization of the smart grids are integration of the renewable energy sources and for this the development of the smart grid networks should be considered [2]. First of all, to develop the smart grid networks current drawbacks of the smart grid networks must be solved which includes modelling, system performance and monitoring and controlling of the micro grids. According to the authors, there was a recent development in the smart grid networks which was achieved due to the advancement in the information and communication technologies. Development is achieved due to the advancement in the ICT systems because through the smart grid networks power network and the information and the communication technology interconnected.

In this article “Cyber Security of Smart Grid Infrastructure” the authors Camachi, Ichim and Popescu, has stated that security of the smart grid network is very much crucial for maintaining reliable and a stable power. A stable and a reliable power is very much important during the situations like contingency which occurs due to failure of critical components of power system. According to the authors the security of the smart grid devices is crucial because it ensures minor possibilities of power grid malfunction or collapse [3]. The authors have observed that due to the lack of securities major blackout can occur which is able to lead the situation to cascading failure. Thus from this the author has determined that to protect this critical power systems infrastructure is needed which will help in the uninterrupted power supply. As a solution to this the author visualise the cyber security systems which will modernise the overall system of the smart grid network. With the modernization the cyber security system will also make the utilization of the power more efficient. The cyber system is mainly integrated with the physical power system. This cyber security systems has resolved cyber-attack issues which are very much crucial for the national infrastructure security and for the satisfaction of the customers. Due to the cyber-attacks power grids may face operational failures and this can make the system unstable which results in high penalty. Thus for this reasons cyber security in the smart grid is very much important.

Current and potential security issues

Considering the smart grid network one of the biggest problem which is faced by this system is the cyber security related issues. The cyber security related issues is a big concern for the smart grid networks because this system integrated with the information and communication technology and it is vulnerable to various types of attacks [4]. This cyber-attack over the smart grid network are generally of two types which are active attacks and passive attacks. The active attacks are generally planned attacks which affects the smart grid system by modifying data of the system. The passive attack is generally used for learning and using the information of the system without modifying [10] the resources of the smart grid system.

Another issue regarding the smart grid network is the Internet Protocol related issues. The IP or the internet protocol is used in the smart grid network as big advantage as this provides compatibility among various types of components. However, this internet protocols becomes a problem for the smart grid networks [5]. The devices which uses the internet protocols are generally vulnerable to the attacks which are based on IP. This type of IP attacks includes tear drop attacks, IP spoofing attacks and the denial of service attack.

The strengths of the smart grid networks actually becomes the vulnerability point for the system. Another reason for the security issues within the smart grid network is the usage of vast number of intelligent devices. Generally, several types of intelligent devices is used for managing both the network demand and the electricity supply. This intelligent devices can serve as an entry point for the hackers to execute their attacks. Thus this intelligent devices need to be managed properly by the system administrator.

To solve the issue regarding the cyber security the technique of the information sharing can be used. The information sharing is important in the process of the decision making and again the process of the decision making is very much vital for the defence against the threats [6]. Thus indirectly information sharing can provide solution to the problem of the cyber security. This framework of the information sharing fill the gap between collections of the information and disseminated of the information at the federal level. Another solution for mitigating the cyber security issues is the protecting the soft targets. In the smart grid networks the softest target for the hackers is the smart meters which need to be protected first. To protect the smart meters, efficient security protocols for the Advanced Meter Infrastructure can be implemented for the smart meters.

Possible solutions to identified security threats

In the recent cases, Ukraine faced an attack on the power systems. This attack was carried by the hackers in December 2015 [8]. This attack was a supervisory control and data acquisition cyber-attack. Due to this attack around 230,000 peoples in the western part of the country left without power for several hours. This attack was initiated by the hackers by using a spear phishing emails. After one year of the previous attack, another attack was hit Ukraine [7]. This time the target was the Pivichna substation near Kiev, and this caused a long hour blackout in the surrounding area. These two contagious attacks really questioned the security of the smart grid networks.

Conclusion:

From the above discussion it can be concluded that the smart grid systems are very much important for the power systems as it provides efficiency to the power systems. Though this smart grid network is able to provide some good benefits to the power systems it also the main reason behind the vulnerability of the power systems. In this paper a literature review has been given which showed the main benefits of the smart grid systems and this literature review also described why this smart grid networks brings vulnerability to the power systems. As there was various types of problem in the system due to the smart grid networks some of the issues regarding the smart grid networks has been discussed thoroughly. Also, some possible solution regarding the identified threats is also evaluated in this paper. Following that the case study of Ukraine has been discussed in this paper regarding the recent power attack.

Reference:

[1] Radhika, Dr. N., Krishnamoorty Sivalingam and V. Anand, "Network architecture for smart grids," International Conference on Computer, Communication and Electrical Technology (ICCCET), Tamilnadu, 2011, pp. 24-26.
doi: 10.1109/ICCCET.2011.5762480

[2] Shamshiri, Meysam, Chin Kim Gan, and Chee Wei Tan. "A review of recent development in smart grid and micro-grid laboratories." In Power Engineering and Optimization Conference (PEDCO) Melaka, Malaysia, 2012 Ieee International, pp. 367-372. IEEE, 2012.

[3] Camachi, Balduino EstisonMugilila, Loretta Ichim, and Dan Popescu. "Cyber Security of Smart Grid Infrastructure." In 2018 IEEE 12th International Symposium on Applied Computational Intelligence and Informatics (SACI), pp. 000303-000308. IEEE, 2018.

[4] Wang, Wenye, and Zhuo Lu. "Cyber security in the smart grid: Survey and challenges." Computer Networks 57, no. 5 (2013): 1344-1371.

[5] Hahn, Adam, Aditya Ashok, Siddharth Sridhar, and Manimaran Govindarasu. "Cyber-physical security testbeds: Architecture, application, and evaluation for smart grid." IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid 4, no. 2 (2013): 847-855.

[6] Sou, Kin Cheong, Henrik Sandberg, and Karl Henrik Johansson. "On the exact solution to a smart grid cyber-security analysis problem." IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid4, no. 2 (2013): 856-865.

[7] Case, Defense Use. "Analysis of the cyber attack on the Ukrainian power grid." Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) (2016).

[8] Liang, Gaoqi, Steven R. Weller, Junhua Zhao, Fengji Luo, and Zhao Yang Dong. "The 2015 ukraine blackout: Implications for false data injection attacks." IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 32, no. 4 (2017): 3317-3318.

[9] Gungor, V. Cagri, Dilan Sahin, Taskin Kocak, Salih Ergut, Concettina Buccella, Carlo Cecati, and Gerhard P. Hancke. "A survey on smart grid potential applications and communication requirements." IEEE Transactions on industrial informatics 9, no. 1 (2013): 28-42.

[10] Ma, Ruofei, Hsiao-Hwa Chen, Yu-Ren Huang, and Weixiao Meng. "Smart grid communication: Its challenges and opportunities." IEEE transactions on Smart Grid 4, no. 1 (2013): 36-46.

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