Home / Blog / Security in Industrial Protocols: Smart Grid

Security in Industrial Protocols: Smart Grid

Posted on 03/03/2017
Security in Industrial Protocols: Smart Grid

Since the beginning of this 21st century, electricity companies have modernize its demand and consumption grid, specially in management settings. The basis of the modification of the electrical grid arises in “20-20-20 objective” at European level. This has also affected communications, creating an advanced metering infrastructure supported by a new communications network. This modification of the electrical grid was based on communication COM (2006) 786 “On a European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection” of the European Commission, where the principal aspects of the European Programme for Critical Infrastructures Protection (EPCIP) were defined; and most importantly with the publication by the European Commission of communication COM (2011) 202, “Smart Grids: from innovation to deployment”.

Componentes principales de la infraestructura de medida avanzada (AMI)

-Advance Metering Infrastructure components-

The new regulation ecosystem have affected the communication ways in power distribution, creating new networks and new specific protocols for this sector. Due to the creation of new protocols, or the adaptation of some existing protocols to new needs, at INCIBE-CERT we have noticed the need to develop more specific contents than those set out in the study Protocols and network security in ICS infrastructures. This new study describes the control systems network architecture and  some of the most widely used field protocols, along with their cybersecurity characteristics, on protocols oriented exclusively to the electric field, and more specifically to the Smart Grid.

This study ranges from control centers to customers of power lines, with special reference to protocols used massively in Spain: Prime, DLMS / COSEM and Meters & More. Among the available content within the study, the cybersecurity features of protocols and recommendations to implementing them in Smart Grid environments with the highest guarantees of confidentiality, integrity and availability are highlighted.

The study, available in English and Spanish, can be downloaded in the following links:

Following this study, we have performed a review of control system protocols in the first study, and therefore a new version of it has been published. In this second version of the guide we have included improvements to clarify doubts related to security levels of the protocols discussed.