Understanding Cyber Security Standards

Electric power system protection, automation and control devices perform many functions over different communications interfaces. This requires careful consideration by industry experts in order to ensure that all developed standards and recommendations can be successfully implemented without causing a decrease in the performance of any of the system components or functions. These are some of the reasons to start a new task force in the IEEE PES Power Systems Relaying Committee (PSRC) to help the community understand the requirements of the substation cyber security standards, such as NERC CIP, IEEE P1686, IEC 62351.

Steven Kunsman initiated this effort and chaired a double session during the joint meeting of several IEEE PES committees held in San Antonio, Texas, USA in the first half of January 2008. The objectives of the meeting were to address utility and vendor issues with cyber security standards, meet representatives from various standardization bodies and identify if a potential harmonization working group is required to oversee the various standardization efforts After presentations by leading experts involved in the standards development and very interesting discussions, a decision was made to continue work on this subject for one more meeting as a task force. The result will be a proposal to the Communications and System Protection subcommittees of the PSRC to start one or more working groups that will address the cyber security issues from the point of view of different protection and protection-related applications and provide input to all standardization bodies.

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