Smart grids can clearly bring benefits - an estimated €3.5 million in savings for the Netherlands according to a test bed report this week - but they also appear to bring hazards.
Finland is widely regarded to have the first truly smart grid but it also holds the dubious title of having the most cyber attacks on its SCADA systems in 2014.
The Scandinavian country was the victim of more than 200,000 SCADA cyber security breaches last year, nearly two thirds more than the second-most-attacked country, the UK at 69,500, followed by the US at 51,000, according to Dell’s annual Threat Report.
Dell attributes the high volumes to the high penetration of SCADA systems installed in these areas and that they are more likely to be connected to the Internet ie. they are part of the smart grid.
The IT giant reported last week that global SCADA cyber attacks increased by 100% in 2014 with the majority being prompted by political conviction rather than financial gain.
The report is sobering for energy companies and utilities, which are realising that with better grid control and responsive to outages comes vulnerability to viruses and data breaches.
The trick says Dell is to make sure that energy and industrial sectors share knowledge and information on SCADA attacks. Who will take up this mantle we wonder?
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