The goal of the smart grid is network connectivity, so it follows that network security is fundamental to its success. But, let’s face it: The smart grid may prove to be a prime target for security attacks; it is riddled with potential vulnerabilities such as non-secure data buses and a far-flung network of nodes. With remotely situated industrial controls, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), connected to the same networks, unauthorized access has the potential to precipitate devastating loss of service, or even physical damage.
This paper proposes a potential solution: It explores the concept of “trusted computing” and how that could resolve security issues by issuing trust ratings for various elements of the system. It shows how trusted computing could beef up the weakest link of the utility infrastructure: the smart meter and the data concentrator that collects meter data for transmission to the utility.
So, what exactly is a trusted system? It is a system that does what its builders (OEMs) and users expect it to do and it does only that. It does not do what the developers and users consider harmful. The trust architecture provides the tools to create a trusted system. It turns out that silicon can play a significant role as a building block of a trusted system. Here, then, are some silicon solutions that feature trusted computing embedded in hardware. .