UK smart grid needs more coherent approach to cybersecurity, says report

The report, UK Smart Grid Cyber Security, prepared by consulting firm KEMA for ENA, contains a number of recommendations to improve cybersecurity for the UK smart grid.

At the national level, the report offers a number of recommendations: cybersecurity should be considered from a collaborate national perspective worldwide; a national level risk assessment process for the smart grid should be set up to manage UK smart grid activities; smart grid cybersecurity should be made part of the evaluation criteria for low carbon network funding (LCNF) projects; and smart grid security should be incorporated into the work of the Smart Grids Forum.

“The UK is taking action now, investing in smart grid development and planning for the future. I am grateful to the ENA for this report which I am sure will prove to be an important contribution to making sure our electricity grid infrastructure remains secure. We will study its recommendations carefully. The government will shortly publish a high level strategy for the development of the smart grid as part of the forthcoming white paper on electricity market reform”, commented UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry.

At the organizational level, the report recommends that a DNO develop an operational security management system to bring cybersecurity under the explicit control of management, consider risk assessment approaches and determine if they are appropriate for smart grid cybersecurity, consider a technology change management strategy to address cyber security, and consider a detailed audit program to identify gaps in current practices and develop appropriate operational security management system requirements, policies, and controls to address cybersecurity.

“In the future, our energy networks will be ‘smarter’ and more complex to ensure we provide for the diverse nature of our energy generation and consumption. However, this presents additional vulnerability. Through a coordinated approach to cyber security we can ensure the lower carbon future of our energy networks, with their greater communication, is secure and robust”, observed ENA Chief Executive David Smith.

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