Protection and Control System Impacts from the Digital World – Part 2 of 2

2016-12-14 - Electric Energy Online Magazine article by Stefan Meier and Steven Kunsman of ABB - December 2016
7. The Digital World opens up Cyber Threats
Cyber security creates fear in our industry as mentioning NERC/ CIP compliance can lead to the wrong behavior. The information available in our utility systems is essential for advancing system performance, proactive control and improved operations and maintenance. Cyber security standards provide the framework and requirements either towards compliance or technical solutions. The educational benefits to understanding these requirements is paramount in the adoption and embracing cyber security as a key enabler to our modern monitoring and control systems.

The fact exists that substation automation, protection and control systems have changed significantly in the past decade and will continue to change with technology advancements. Systems have become more interconnected and provide end users with much more information to allow for higher reliability and greater levels of control. Interoperability between different vendor products and systems has been achieved by developing products and solutions based on open standards and by leveraging commercial technology like standard Ethernet technology. This change in technology has not only brought huge benefits from an operational point of view as discussed in the previous sections, it also permits substation automation, protection and control systems to address cyber security issues similar to other traditional, enterprise systems which have been facing the same industry challenges for years.

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