NOJA Power

Technical Article

Published 06/2022

How IEEE1686 can help Electrical Engineers design Secure Power Systems

As cyber attacks become increasingly sophisticated so too do the standards and compliance requirements for mitigating threats.

Most organisations are familiar with security implementation at the network perimeter and compliance as it extends to devices used in the support of field installed infrastructure such as laptops, mobile telephones and tablets. Each component is subject to its own standards and compliance requirements. Momentum is growing for compliance to extend into electronic field deployed devices such as NOJA Power Reclosers in the form of IEEE1686. Implementation of IEEE1686 into an organisation will require careful planning and ongoing management of two key features introduced by the standard.

One key feature is the introduction of cryptography for digitally signing data exchanges and transport of data over encrypted channels. Initialisation of a device is known as the process of bootstrapping which is the starting point from designating a device as trusted.

Diagram 1

Secondly, Role Based Access Control is introduced to tighten access to trusted devices. Staff authenticate against either a local directory of users or optionally a central directory of users.

Diagram 2

Such requirements can place additional pressures on overall delivery in terms of cost, time, knowledge, experience and resource.

In a fast moving complex Cyber security and compliance environment, it is important to consider the key factors to be able to delivery now and into the future for IEEE1686, such as.

  • Tightly integrated products
  • Monitoring
  • Auditing, Alerting
  • Ongoing management
  • Automation
“Most utilities are considering to improve security and looking to IEEE 1686 for guidance to do so. It will require close cooperation between equipment vendors and utilities to bootstrap devices and achieve the role based access control IEEE 1686 defines,” says NOJA Power Group Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan.

To achieve a successful IEEE1686 deployment it is important to partner with a trusted provider who has the knowledge and experience in delivering the required IEEE1686 solutions such a NOJA Power.

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