Towards a Resilient Smart Power Grid: A Testbed for Design, Analysis, and Validation of Power Grid Systems is a newly established research project in the Smart Grid subprogram at the Advanced Digital Sciences Center (ADSC). In this project, we aim to address emerging challenges to smart grid security by building a testbed and associated tools to facilitate rapid analysis and efficient detection of threats and intrusions to cyber infrastructure in power grid . The Principal Investigators for this project are Professors Ravishankar K. Iyer, David K. Y. Yau, and Zbigniew Kalbarczyk.
The Smart Grid vision on improving interoperability and ensuring high reliability has become a major driver of transformative changes in energy production and usage. While the Smart Grid asks for consumers’ active participation and promises cost efficiency, it also brings new challenges in terms of security. Due to the physical constraints of the underlying power grid, security solutions must be highly efficient for smart grid infrastructure. Thus, we need to develop novel solutions that can enable rapid analysis of potential security incidents based on empirical evidences.
Objectives & Challenge
We aim to build a testbed and associated tools that enable
- Incorporation of a system-wide solution that reduces physical and cyber vulnerabilities;
- Rapid recovery from disruptions; and
- Minimal impact on performance.
However, the smart grid is a complex infrastructure with various communication, control, and processing devices and components interconnected with each other. The challenge is how to ensure reliable and secure operations in presence of accidental failures and attacks.
The core of the proposed testbed (shown in Figure above) will constitute:
- Physical devices (e.g., data aggregators or relays) that can be configured to mimic operation of real power substations;
- Application software that can be set up to test communications between the devices in a typical SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system operating in the power grid context; and
- Intrusion detection system (IDS) based on Bro (a specification-based intrusion detection software) with integrated parser for DNP3 protocol (a widely used in SCADA systems communication protocol), as illustrated in the figure blow.
The testbed being developed by this project will provide researchers and practitioners in Singapore with an open and adaptive environment for measurement and experimentation in the power grid context. It will also enable opportunities to design and test cost-effective techniques that can provide timely detection of and recovery from system disruptions. In addition, we foresee this project can help establish partnership and collaboration with industry and academia (both in Singapore and abroad) on issues related to power grid security.
We are actively collaborating with the Smart Grid: Integrative Security Assessment project at ADSC, serving an experimental platform for their security assessment framework and tools. We are also collaborating with other local universities and research institutions, including Assoc. Professor Hoay Beng Gooi from NTU and the Infocomm Security Department in I2R of A*STAR.