Cybersecurity in a Distributed Energy Future

Navigant teamed up with the Advanced Energy Economy Institute to produce a new white paper on protecting the grid from cyber attacks

Cybersecurity is a growing issue for the global economy, and particularly for the critical infrastructure that the world’s energy systems depend on. As the electricity sector becomes more dynamic, advanced and intelligent energy technologies are expected to deliver many benefits, but according to a new white paper from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI), it will also face challenges to maintain security.

Cybersecurity in a Distributed Energy Future: Addressing the Challenges and Protecting the Grid from a Cyberattack was produced with assistance from Navigant and other members of an informal AEEI working group seeking to inform decision-makers about cybersecurity for advanced energy technologies. The paper highlights the following topics:

  • Cybersecurity threats to the economy and to the energy sector
  • Emerging cybersecurity best practices for a distributed, intelligent grid
  • Policy and regulatory frameworks on cybersecurity that are in place at the global level, national level, and in some states
  • Specific protective measures and protocols that can make a power grid characterized by abundant advanced energy technologies secure against cyber attack.

Navigant's contributions were provided by Ken Lotterhos, managing director; Doug Morrill, associate director; and Matthew Blizard, director, who shared expertise on cybersecurity events and advised on risks specific to the smart grid and Internet of Things devices. Additionally, the group leveraged their extensive cyber knowledge to review the paper and weigh in on recommendations.

“Recent events demonstrate that the level of cyber threats is increasing and targeting a broader range of assets, including advanced distributed energy technologies and smart grid applications,” said Lotterhos. “Through this paper, AEE has advanced the dialog between industry and regulators to collaboratively promote the next generation of advanced energy technology solutions that are cyber-secure.”

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