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Press Release -- December 11th, 2013
Source: Verizon

Intelligent Energy Briefs: Smart Meter Security Challenges Part 2

A recent report from Navigant Research notes that worldwide shipments of smart meters will peak at 131 million units annually in 2018 before beginning a gradual decrease in shipment volumes. By 2022, according to the report, smart meter shipments will decline to 114 million units per year.

Despite the projected slowdown, utility companies are installing smart meters to monitor energy usage by consumers and businesses and adjust prices according to the time of day and season. With smart metering technology solutions, utilities can:

  • Involve customers in conservation initiatives;
  • Control costs with automated meter readings;
  • And position their businesses for technological innovation.

In my last post about the challenges with smart meter security, Jay Cappy, client consulting partner, global solutions enablement at Verizon Enterprise Solutions highlighted three areas of focus for utility companies.

  1. A multi-faceted defense program for the security of nation-wide open systems
  2. A holistic security approach at the systems boundaries
  3. A security operation that is able to scale from tens of thousands to millions of meters

When it comes to home area networks, Cappy advocates a more drilled down approach for assessing smart meter security parameters.

“In the smart meter security assessment projects that we’ve conducted the risks are often related to home area networks. As a result, we have recommended remediation for design and operations,” said Cappy.

Cappy noted that lack of consistency and enforcement of security guidelines along with insufficient protection of credential issues are among the key factors that typically jeopardize home area networks.

Other contributors that often compromise security for smart meters in home area networks according to Cappy include a lack of traceability due to poor or non-existent design documentation, ineffective network monitoring, obsolete devices and lack of logging activity in logs.

Greentech Media Smart Grid Research forecasts a $750 million U.S. HAN market by 2015.

For more information on Verizon’s solutions for energy and utility companies, click here.

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