Once a company, a community or a country has invested significant dollars carefully constructing a smart energy grid that deploys power in an efficient manner, the next priority must be to safeguard that grid. To that end, smart grid security has quickly become a very big business, according to a recent report from ABI Research.
Smart grid security covers identity management and access controls, threat and theft defense, industrial control system security, smart grid cellular communications, physical safety and security, and other security types. Those interconnected elements combined to create a $590 million industry in 2010. By 2016 that number is projected to surpass $2 billion.
Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are projected to see the highest security growth rates out of all the smart grid segments, growing from $6 million in 2011 to $150 million by 2016. EV charging stations faced similar security issues to smart meters, such as data protection and tampering with the charging stations. The biggest areas of development in the security arena will be EV authentication of vehicles and physical security features.
Senior analyst Josh Flood comments, “There has been an enormous focus on smart grid security, particularly over the last two to three years. As well as providing security protection against physical and cyber-attacks on the smart grid, utilities are spending significant amounts of money on closed-circuit television surveillance and security software.”