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Smart grid security investment expected to total $4.1 billion by 2018

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Researchers are forecasting that investment in smart grid security will top $4 billion by 2018.

According to Pike Research, the need for increased cyber security has emerged in recent years for utilities as control of systems has transitioned from electromechanical to digital. And as the security threats have increased so too has the need for investment in preventative measures.

"The smart grid changes everything, but when it comes to cyber security issues, much of the story remains the same," senior analyst Bob Lockhart said. "Integrating information technology into a power grid presents enormous potential to deliver energy more efficiently and profitably, but also brings inherent risks in terms of security vulnerabilities."

Specifically, Pike believes that cyber security for industrial control systems (ICS) investments will reach $4.1 billion for the period between 2011 and 2018. The firm expects ICS investments to rise from $309 in 2011 to $692 million annually by 2018.

NERC - the North American Electric Reliability Corporation - has formed a Security Guidelines Working Group to help identify areas where utilities should focus on security, such as communication, information protection and background checks for employees.

In 2010, SUBNET Solutions was identified as a key player in smart grid security by Pike Research in a report analyzing the sector's market trends. SUBNET is a leading solutions provider for more than 200 electrical utilities around the globe.

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