In the implementation of communication technologies in the Smart Grids, it is necessary to strengthen cybersecurity requirements of both the components and the systems integrated. The level of cyber security must be enough to meet the demands of users’ privacy and enough to prevent cyber-attacks to the electrical systems. While redundant systems can help strengthen the cybersecurity of networks, best practices must be applied to ensure safety without reducing communications performance.
In some FP7 European projects, TECNALIA has analyzed the vulnerabilities in components and systems of the Smart Grids. The consequence of this analysis is the definition of the cybersecurity specifications in different protocols and the best implementation of the utility requirements. As official laboratory in PRIME, TECNALIA has taken part in the definition of the security levels and it is involved in the evaluation of conformity of specific devices, e.g. Smart Meters and Data Concentrators. As official laboratory for DLMS functionality in several countries, TECNALIA implements testing tools to evaluate the different levels of security and to ensure the compliance with the security levels required by the utilities.
The evaluation of the performance in field with and without cybersecurity is also a very important co-lateral evaluation. Moreover, it is very important to analyze the protocol, to measure the performance and reach a compromise between the security level and the performance of the network. With this objective TECNALIA has developed a PRIME-DLMS sniffer which allows to evaluate and analyze the protocols with and without security in field.