LONDON, UK (GlobalData), 19 September 2012 - The reluctance of utility companies to spend on adequate smart grid security could put consumer privacy at risk, states a new report from business intelligence providers GlobalData.
According to the firm's most recent analysis*, utilities still consider cyber security as an additional and unnecessary expenditure, and focus on meeting (often lacking) regulatory standards rather than providing comprehensive protection.
This attitude could have the knock-on effect of reducing interest among cyber security industry players in developing effective security solutions for smart grid technologies such as sensors, relays, meters, and remote terminal units.
Additionally, as there is currently no secure system for disclosing vulnerability, companies are reluctant to share information regarding the cyber attacks they have experienced for fear of inadvertently leaking data.
The record of threats is insubstantial, meaning that utility companies are less likely to spend on costly security solutions. This scenario is especially apparent in the case of investor-owned utilities, where the lack of evidence makes it difficult to persuade shareholders of a sufficient return-on-investment (ROI) from cyber security.
The two-way flow of data that smart grid technologies involve enables power firms to monitor electricity consumption and more efficiently control supply to consumers. However, this same system, if corrupted, could also be used to carry out real-time surveillance, determine personal behaviour patterns, and even facilitate identity theft.
Utilities and governments around the world have already faced public resistance to the implementation of smart grid technologies, including protests in Canada, the Netherlands and the US.
* Cyber Security in Smart Grid – Market Size, Key Issues, Regulations and Outlook to 2020
-NOTES TO EDITORS-
This report provides insights into global developments related to cyber security in smart grid.
This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData's team of industry experts.
GlobalData is a leading global business intelligence provider offering advanced analytics to help clients make better, more informed decisions every day. Our research and analysis is based on the expert knowledge of over 700 qualified business analysts and 25,000 interviews conducted with industry insiders every year, enabling us to offer the most relevant, reliable and actionable strategic business intelligence available for a wide range of industries.