IEEE Addresses Evolving Smart Grid Security Challenges with Revisions to Critical IEEE 1815TM Standard

Version 5 of Secure Authentication protocols being rolled into existing DNP3 standard set to improve security for SCADA, other control systems

PISCATAWAY, N.J.--()--IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, today announced work has begun on revisions to Secure Authentication (SA) protocols contained in its IEEE 1815TM Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3) standard. The SA Version 5 revisions will help bolster overall security for data information gathering, exchange, and use in applications like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. With the rising frequency and intensity of malicious cyber attacks, SA Version 5 aims to address and help mitigate digital security hazards to essential infrastructures across the power and energy, water, Smart Grid, and other process automation industries.

“As the rate of bolder, more sophisticated cyber attacks continues to spiral upward, ensuring data integrity and security has become increasingly challenging. By necessity, preventing unauthorized intrusion into critical systems has become a top priority,” said H. Lee Smith, chair, IEEE 1815 Working Group and president, DNP Users Group. “By delivering robust security protocols that are attuned to both existing and emerging threats, SA Version 5 will help minimize risk while ensuring the continued efficient and safe operation of vital infrastructures.”

The IEEE 1815 DNP3 standard is a robust, multi-layered framework for achieving greater device interoperability. Developed collaboratively by IEEE and the DNP Users Group, it has become one of the most widely adopted standards in the process automation industry. The standard has also emerged as a fundamental element in a growing number of global Smart Grid deployments by facilitating seamless interaction and secure two-way communications between diverse systems and devices.

The SA Version 5 revisions, which are being jointly developed by IEEE and the DNP Users Group, will strengthen and enhance the standard’s ability to unambiguously determine whether access to data and internal systems has been authorized. Formal IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) balloting for these revisions is expected to begin in January, with the revised protocols being rolled into IEEE 1815 for publication in 2012. SA Version 5 will have a staggered rollout, beginning with the DNP community in November 2011, followed by IEEE users in January 2012, and will be fully incorporated into the published version of IEEE 1815 in 2012. It will be available to the general public from the DNP Users Group members via the group’s website.

“Disruptive innovations like the Smart Grid hold vast potential for significantly improving the quality of life for millions of people around the world. Preserving and advancing these nascent technologies requires the adoption of proactive strategies to solve security challenges at their inception, rather than after the fact,” said Judy Gorman, managing director, IEEE-SA. “The Secure Authentication Version 5 revisions provide a firm foundation for the ongoing task of securing mission-critical data systems, and clearly illustrate IEEE’s unique consensus-building and leadership abilities.”

For more information about IEEE 1815, please visit http://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/1815-2010.html. For more information on the DNP Users Group, please visit www.dnp.org. To learn more about IEEE-SA visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ieeesa, follow @ieeesa on Twitter, or connect with us on the Standards Insight Blog at http://www.standardsinsight.com.

About the DNP Users Group

The DNP Users Group is a California public mutual benefit Corporation, operating as a nonprofit organization pursuant to United States IRS code 501(c)(6). The primary purpose of the corporation is to maintain and promote the Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3), a non-proprietary, standards based communication protocol widely used in the utility industry. The DNP Users Group supports the DNP3 communication protocol standards as appropriate to the needs of the membership through development and maintenance of the technical documentation necessary to facilitate interoperability of products and systems used in the utility industry based on these standards. Additionally, the DNP Users Group provides a forum in which the various stakeholders in the utility industry can work cooperatively as members of a common organization, and implements educational and promotional activities that increase awareness and deployment of the DNP3 protocol in the utility industry. Additional information about the DNP Users Group can be found at www.dnp.org.

About the IEEE Standards Association

The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within the IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit http://standards.ieee.org/.

About IEEE

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.

Contacts

IEEE-SA
Shuang Yu, +1 732-981-3424
Marketing Manager
shuang.yu@ieee.org

Release Summary

IEEE ADDRESSES EVOLVING SMART GRID SECURITY CHALLENGES WITH REVISIONS TO CRITICAL IEEE 1815TM STANDARD

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Contacts

IEEE-SA
Shuang Yu, +1 732-981-3424
Marketing Manager
shuang.yu@ieee.org