Editorial for the special issue of Wiley Security and Communication Networks Journal devoted to security in smart grid


    The smart grid initiative is already transforming the energy industry through a combination of advanced and intelligent power generation, transmission, and distribution techniques. Yet, a number of substantial challenges remain to be addressed, not least of which are related to the smart grid communication infrastructure. Namely, the smart grid communications infrastructure is expected to incorporate many different communications technologies, including smart meters, sensors of various kinds, and both wired and wireless networks. At the same time, it must support a number of diverse smart grid applications such as distributed power generation, intelligent fault detection and recovery, electric vehicle charging, and energy storage, to name just a few. The diversity of applications and the heterogeneity of networks, together with the vast geographical size of the smart grid, make the infrastructure, and by extension the smart grid itself, vulnerable to a number of attacks. As the result, advanced security solutions are needed that are specifically geared to protect the smart grid, its communications, and the data that must be collected and delivered in order for the smart grid to fulfill its purpose.

    In light of these developments, this Special Issue was set with the main objective of stimulating interest and promoting further research in the area of Security in Smart Grid. From a large number of submissions, we have selected for publication a total of six papers, which can be divided in two groups.

    The first group of papers focuses on higher-level issues and architectures. The paper by Line presents a high-level overview of issues that need to be addressed in order for smart grid implementations to succeed from the information security point of view. Particular attention is paid to the unification of cultures of power engineering and information security communities, as well as to other more technical issues such as risk assessment techniques, privacy protection, communication security, and disaster and emergency management. The next two papers discuss security issues in specific areas of smart grid infrastructure. The paper by Gao et al. focuses on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, which are, and will continue to be, widely used for monitoring and control of industrial processes, with particular attention on security issues in SCADA-based communication networks, which are rapidly becoming the major component of modern SCADA systems. The paper by Beigi-Mohammadi et al. investigates intrusion detection in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), which is one of the key elements of the current and future smart grids, and proposes a comprehensive framework for intrusion detection systems; the framework is illustrated on a solution built specifically for neighborhood area networks in AMI.

    Papers in the second group deal with specific security applications in the smart grid. The paper by Saputro and Akkaya deals with different approaches to user privacy in AMI applications in the context of communication networks such as neighborhood area networks. Different privacy-preserving approaches are evaluated and classified, and then analyzed from the viewpoint of the impact they incur on the performance of AMI applications that use data aggregation. The paper by Nicanfar and Leung focuses on securing communications between devices such as household appliances and smart meters located in selected homes. A strong group key is constructed and managed in an efficient manner, using a pre-shared password for authentication; moreover, a consensus-based cluster-based authentication system is proposed and validated. Finally, the paper by Wen et al. addresses security aspects of energy trading in the smart grid marketplace by proposing an efficient Searchable Encryption Scheme for Auctions. The scheme is based on public key encryption augmented with a keyword search technique that enables efficient search for suitable bids while preserving the privacy of energy buyers and sellers alike. The Searchable Encryption Scheme for Auctions scheme is shown to provide the desired functionality with much reduced communication and computational overhead compared with other similar schemes known in the literature.

    The papers presented here are but a small cross-section that illustrates the breadth and diversity of the smart grid security research and practice. We wish to thank both authors and reviewers for their hard work and the effort they have invested in producing this special issue. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Editors-in-Chief, Professor Hsiao-Hwa Chen and Professor Hamid R. Sharif, for extending us this opportunity and for all the support they provided from our initial proposal to this date, as well as Wiley Editorial Staff for their continuous support and professionalism.


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      Jelena Mišić is professor of computer science at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She has published nearly 90 papers in archival journals and more than 120 papers at international conferences in the areas of wireless networks, in particular wireless personal area network and wireless sensor network protocols, performance evaluation, and security. She serves on editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Computer Networks and Ad hoc Networks, Wiley Security and Communication Networks, Ad Hoc & Sensor Wireless Networks, Int. Journal of Sensor Networks, and Int. Journal of Telemedicine and Applications journals. She is a senior member of IEEE and member of ACM.

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      Miroslav Begović is professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and affiliated faculty member of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Tech. His research interests are in computer applications in power system monitoring, protection and control, and design and analysis of renewable energy sources. Professor Begovic published over 180 publications, did over 60 invited presentations, and completed numerous research projects during his professional career at Georgia Tech. He has been an IEEE fellow since 2004. He has chaired the IEEE PES Emerging Technologies Coordinating Committee, Student Activities Subcommittee of the PES PEEC, and is a member of the IEEE PES Power System Relaying Committee where he chaired a number of working groups. Dr. Begovic is currently the chair of the Electric Energy Group in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, IEEE PES distinguished lecturer, and president-elect of the IEEE Power and Energy Society.

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      Nei Kato joined Computer Center of Tohoku University in 1991 and has been a full professor with the Graduate School of Information Sciences since 2003. He has been engaged in research on satellite communications, computer networking, wireless mobile communications, smart grid, image processing, and pattern recognition. He has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. He currently serves as the vice chair of IEEE Ad Hoc & Sensor Networks Technical Committee, the chair of IEEE ComSoc Sendai Chapter, the steering committee member of WCNC, voting member of GITC, and an associate editor of IEEE Wireless Communications, IEEE Network, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, and IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems. He has served as the chair of IEEE Satellite and Space Communications Technical Committee (2010–2012); as a member of the expert committee of Telecommunications Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; and as the chairperson of ITU-R SG4 and SG7, Japan. Nei Kato is a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Communications Society(2012–2013) and a fellow of IEICE.

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      Tarik Taleb is currently working as Senior Researcher and 3GPP Standardization Expert at NEC Europe Ltd, Heidelberg, Germany. His research interests lie in the field of architectural enhancements to 3GPP networks (i.e., LTE), mobile cloud networking, mobile multimedia streaming, wireless and ad-hoc networking, inter-vehicular communications, satellite and space communications, congestion control protocols, handoff and mobility management, and network security. Dr. Taleb serves on the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, IEEE Wireless Communications, IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, and a number of Wiley journals. He is serving as secretary of the Wireless Communications Technical Committee, the largest in IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc). He also served as secretary and then as vice chair of the Satellite and Space Communications Technical Committee of the IEEE Communication Society (ComSoc) (2006–2010). Dr. Taleb is a senior IEEE member.

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      Vojislav B. Mišić is a professor of Computer Science at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He received his PhD in Computer Science from University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1993. His research interests include performance evaluation of wireless networks and systems and software engineering. He has authored or co-authored six books, 18 book chapters, and close to 200 papers in archival journals and at prestigious international conferences. He serves on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Ad Hoc Networks, Peer-to-Peer Networks and Applications, Int. Journal of Parallel, Emergent and Distributed Systems, and Journal of Computer Systems, Communications and Networking. He is a senior member of IEEE and member of ACM and AIS.