Increasing cyber threats spurring 29.4 percent CAGR in smart grid cybersecurity market, says TechNavio

NIST seeks comments on first revision to its smart grid cybersecurity guidelines since 2010

Increasing cyber threats are fueling growth in the smart grid cybersecurity market, which is forecast by TechNavio to increase at a 29.4 percent compound annual growth rate through 2016.

Key vendors in the market are BAE Systems, Cisco, IBM, Industrial Defender, IOActive, Lockheed Martin, McAfee, Siemens, Symantec and ViaSat.

Market growth is being spurred on by increasing cyber threats against the smart grid infrastructure, as well as new sources of vulnerabilities. TechNavio estimates that close to 4,400 new smart grid vulnerabilities were detected during 2010.

The research firm identified a number of different components within smart grids that are vulnerable: "IT systems such as computers, servers, databases, and web services; communications networks such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee; operational technologies such as supervisory control and data acquisition, power line communications, energy management systems, and intelligent electronic devices; end access points such as smart meters, smartphones, and other mobile devices; and human influences such as lack of training and misuse of universal serial bus drives."

A major challenge to market growth is the lack of disclosure mechanisms. Power utilities are reluctant to disclose the occurrence of smart grid cyber attacks because of the fear that more grid vulnerabilities will be exposed, which could reduce customer loyalty.

Last month, the National Institute for Standards and Technology announced that it was updating its smart grid cybersecurity guidelines to incorporate technology and legal changes since the guidelines were first issued in 2010.

"Millions of smart meters are in use around the country now, and as the smart grid is implemented we have gained more knowledge that required minor tweaks to the existing document. There also have been legislative changes in states such as California and Colorado concerning customer energy usage data, and we have made revisions to the volume on privacy based on the changing regulatory framework," said NIST computer scientist Tanya Brewer.

NIST is seeking public comment on the revisions until Christmas Eve.

For more:
- check out TechNavio's stats
- see NIST's announcement

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