THE MAGAZINE

Smart Grid Security: An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid

By Gilbert Sorebo and Michael Echols; Reviewed by Ben Rothke, CISSP

***** Smart Grid Security: An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid. By Gilbert Sorebo and Michael Echols. CRC Press, www.crcpress.com; 328 pages; $79.95.

Often the applications of new technology that have the greatest promise are accompanied by the greatest hype. The smart grid is a case in point. Roughly defined, a smart grid is a digitally enabled electrical grid that gathers, distributes, and acts on information about the behavior of suppliers and consumers in order to improve the efficiency, reliability, and economics of electricity services.

In Smart Grid Security: An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid, authors Gilbert Sorebo and Michael Echols do an excellent job of providing the reader with a comprehensive overview of what the smart grid is, what the security and privacy risks are, and ways in which to mitigate those risks. They never downplay the security risks, and they offer pragmatic ways in which consumers and utilities can best use smart grid technologies in a secure manner.

Chapter three details a major security challenge of the smart grid, namely securing the smart meter. A smart meter is the final point in a smart grid; it records consumption of electric energy and sends the data to the utility. Smart meters today are not always adequately secured.

The next chapter explains the notion of a HAN, or home area network. This is the network for communication between digital devices in the home and the utility. Once again, this is a concept that provides a lot of potential, but is a technology in need of good security and privacy controls. The book details what utilities and consumers need to do to ensure that there are no breaches.

For those looking to get a handle on how to secure the evolving and dynamic smart grid, Smart Grid Security: An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid is an excellent reference.


Reviewer: Ben Rothke, CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), is an information security manager with Wyndham Worldwide Corp. The views expressed are his own.
 

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