Smart Grid Security: An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Smart Grid Security

An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid, 1st Edition

By Gilbert N. Sorebo, Michael C. Echols

CRC Press

328 pages | 40 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-12-05
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The Smart Grid has the potential to revolutionize electricity delivery systems, and the security of its infrastructure is a vital concern not only for cyber-security practitioners, engineers, policy makers, and utility executives, but also for the media and consumers. Smart Grid Security: An End-to-End View of Security in the New Electrical Grid explores the important techniques, challenges, and forces that will shape how we achieve a secure twenty-first century electric grid.

Includes a Foreword by Michael Assante, President and CEO, National Board of Information Security Examiners

Following an overview of the components of the Smart Grid, the book delves into the evolution of security standards and regulations and examines ways in which the Smart Grid might be regulated. The authors discuss the technical details about how metering technology is being implemented and the likely threats and vulnerabilities that utilities will face. They address the home area network (HAN) and examine distribution and transmission—the foundation for the delivery of electricity, along with distributed generation, micro-grids, and operations.

The book explores future concepts—such as energy storage and the use of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)—in addition to the concomitant risk for fraud and manipulation with stored energy. Consumer-related issues are discussed as they pertain to emerging ways of receiving and generating energy. The book examines dysfunctions ranging from inadvertent outages to cyber-attack and presents recommendations on how to respond to these incidents. It concludes with speculation of future cyber-security challenges and discusses new ways that the grid can be defended, such as better key management and protection.

Written in a style rigorous enough for the practitioner yet accessible to a broad audience, this comprehensive volume covers a topic that is becoming more critical to industry and consumers everywhere.


Between them, authors Gib Sorebo and Michael Echols have the chops to go deep into the technical weeds of grid security risks, challenges and solutions. However, their aim is quite different than a technical tour de force … I highly recommend this book for anyone for who cares that their grid is as reliable, efficient and secure as possible.

—Andy Bochman, Smart Grid Security Blog

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. 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. 4 stars.

Security Management, December 2012

Table of Contents

What Is the Smart Grid, and Why Should We Care about Security?

Definitions: The Traditional Power Grid

Definitions: What’s a Smart Grid?

Why Do We Need a Smarter Grid?

Smart Grid Risks

Smart Grid Risks versus Benefits

The Smart Grid Evolution: Smart Grid Standards, Laws, and Industry Guidance

Regulations, Smart Grid, and the Bulk Electric System

Privacy Information Impacts on Smart Grid

Security Standards

Smart Grid Security Strategy

Smart Grid Impacts

Applying Security Control Frameworks to Smart Grid

Managing the Overall Risk to Smart Grid

Smart Metering: The First Security Challenge

The Cost of Smart Metering

Smart Metering Programs

Smart Meter Authentication

Smart Metering Security

Smart Meter Vendor Management

Smart Meter Security Management

Home Area Networking: Giving Consumers Control or Opening a Pandora’s Box?

Elements of the Home Area Network

HAN Communications

HAN Commissioning, Registration, and Enrollment

Defense-in-Depth and Other Security Solutions

Distribution Automation: Moving from Legacy to Secure

What Is the Distribution System?

Distribution System Architecture

Definition of Distribution Automation

How Does Distribution Automation Work?

Distribution System Costs

What Is the Smart Grid Function of Distribution Automation?

The Importance of the Distribution System and Its Security Challenges

Securing the Distribution System

Distribution Management Systems

Standards, Inoperability, and Cyber-Security

Transmission Automation: Can Utilities Work Together Securely?

Transmission Infrastructure Costs

Transmission Infrastructure Functionality

Transmission Technology

Transmission Substations

Smart Transmission Cyber-Security

Strategies for Securing the Transmission System

Distributed Generation and Micro-Grids: Can Distributed Systems Work Together?

Major Generation Resources

Major Generation Costs

Distributed Energy Resource Costs

DER Cyber-Security


Distributed Control System

Smart Grid and Distributed Generation

Cyber-Security and Distributed Generation

Operations and Outsourcing




Information Technology (IT)


Grid Operations

Plant Operations

Substation Operations




Substation Maintenance

Generation Maintenance


Metering Support

Smart Grid Operations

Plug-In Electric Vehicles and Energy Storage: Now the Fun Really Begins

Storage Technologies

Measurement and Coordination

What Makes Plug-In Electric Vehicles Unique?

Plug-In Vehicle to Grid Logistics

Grid to Plug-In Vehicle Logistics

Energy Storage and Cyber-Security

The Future of Energy Storage

What about the Consumer?: Securing Relationships between the Utilities and Their Customers

Electric Charging Stations

Home Area Networks

Distributed Generation

Demand Response and the Consumer

Consumer Health Risks of Smart Grid

Consumer Protections

Utility Protection from the Consumer

Third-Party Service Providers

Protecting Consumers from Themselves

Identifying and Recovering the Grid from a Cyber-Disaster

Malicious Threats

Nonmalicious Threats

Incident Identification

Incident Containment

Incident Eradication


Crystal Ball Time: Will We Have a Secure Grid and What Will It Take?

Smart Meter Security

Home Area Networks

Head-End and Meter Data Management

Distribution System Security

Transmission Security and the Bulk Electric System

The Distribution System and NERC CIP

Identity and Key Management

Differential Power Analysis and Other Side Channel Attacks

Energy Theft and Market Manipulation


Will the Smart Grid Be Secure?




About the Author

Gilbert (Gib) N. Sorebo is a chief cybersecurity Technologist and assistant vice president for SAIC where he assists government and private sector organizations in addressing cybersecurity risks and complying with legal and regulatory requirements. He has been working in the information technology industry for more than nineteen years in both the public and private sector. In addition to federal and state governments, Mr. Sorebo has done security consulting in the financial services, health care, and electricity sectors. He is currently responsible for coordinating cybersecurity activities in the energy sector companywide. He has been the co-lead of SAI C’s Smart Grid Security practice where he established the SAI C Smart Grid Security Solutions Center for product security testing and solution development and contributes to a variety of other smart grid security research efforts.

Michael C. Echols is a cyber security consultant who specializes in the development and management of utilities’ cyber security programs. This includes the development of governance models, policy development, and compliance. Michael has worked in Energy and Utility markets developing and delivering transformational cyber security solutions for Critical Infrastructure systems. Michael is recognized for his expertise in cyber security compliance and posture analysis for industrial control systems and smart grid technologies. He has worked in the public sector as a cyber security officer for the U.S. government, where he has applied security requirements from both NIST and NERC to industrial control systems, in real world situations. He has led efforts to assess, secure and remediate risk to Generation, Transmission, Distribution, and Advanced Residential Metering Systems for the U.S. government and major U.S. energy providers.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Security / General
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Power Resources / Electrical