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.