Electricity Forum Intelligent Power Today Magazine Arc Flash Clothing

Security Protocols

By Phill Feltham

Using enterprise tools to secure wireless field area communication networks

BY BERT WILLIAMS, ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems

Utility grid modernization applications such as automated metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation (DA), substation automation (SA), and mobile workforce automation, in short, the portfolio of applications known as Smart Grid, require two-way information flow. Systems that have traditionally used physically isolated, proprietary networks are evolving toward integrated, open standard, internet-protocol (IP)-based architectures to facilitate communications.

The functionality and integration of wireless IP field area communication networks offer utilities substantial value. These two features provide interoperable communications for a multitude of diverse endpoints, and the ability to add new applications easily. Moreover, using a common communication network means more consistency in areas such as security policies as well as lower implementation costs.

However, there are concerns. Similar to other networks, wireless IP field automation networks come with potential vulnerability to cyberattacks. This challenge can be met by bringing enterprise-class security to field area networks.

Related Articles

Trends in SCADA Security

The importance of up-to-date critical system monitoring BY MARLEE ROSEN, Rosen Associates Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks...