In May, President Obama’s administration suggested utilities and other companies that operate critical infrastructure should be required to develop cybersecurity plans that would subsequently be reviewed by commercial auditors. Companies could also work with the Department of Homeland Security to improve their plans.
According to a United States Government Accountability Office report, the smart grid is “vulnerable to attacks that could result in widespread loss of electrical services essential to maintaining our national economy and security.”
Rich Mahler, Lockheed’s senior manager for cybersecurity in its energy solutions business, notes that Palisade provides utilities “the big picture of what’s really happening” within their networks.
Lockheed isn’t the only company with defense industry credentials eyeing smart grid opportunities. Boeing along with International Business Machines (IBM) and Raytheon Company are also working with utilities on smart-grid projects. Chicago-based Boeing has won $8.56 million in pilot projects from the U.S. Energy Department to develop prototype smart-grid systems in collaboration with Consolidated Edison Inc. in New York and Southern California Edison.
Bloomberg notes: “The U.S. electricity network is increasingly becoming a smart grid as it is overhauled with advanced information technology. Power companies are installing next-generation digital meters in buildings while preparing to attach more renewable energy resources and as many as 1 million electric autos to the grid by the middle of the decade. All those innovations give hackers more ways to break into a network.”