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Expert reiterates role of smart grid security

by Rajiv Ravindran Pillai on Jul 30, 2017

Michel Madi, NES.
Michel Madi, NES.

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An official from Networked Energy Services Corporation (NES) has revealed the importance of security in smart grids given the connected infrastructures they employ. 

Intelligent networks, smart meters, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions have increased the possibility of cyber-threats in the energy sector. 

Michel Madi, CEO of NES Middle East, Africa and India, explained: “Smart grids are not just electrical infrastructure, but huge data networks that are critical for the seamless functioning of the various economic sectors of a country.

"It has now become imperative for key sectors, particularly energy, to ensure the implementation of the latest security solutions to secure smart grids and avert risks.

"The UAE is one of the leading countries in the region on track in safeguarding their services as its smart metering market looks to increase at a rate of 9% over 2016 to 2024, in line with its Energy Plan 2050."

NES claims to offer various important security-related recommendations, including adopting a systematic approach to assess cyber risks, improving the protection of energy systems, fostering a performance-based cybersecurity culture; framing cybersecurity guidelines; and promoting physical preparedness and resilience.

Utility providers in the UAE such as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority are stepping up their efforts to ensure security in their grids from such attacks with the installation of smart meters, which is currently underway across the country in a bid to complete over one million smart meters by 2020.

Earlier this year, Madi told Construction Week, that through the intelligent use of digital technologies and innovative applications, smart grids can contribute in the development of zero-energy buildings and green communities.

They also encourage consumers to rationalise their consumption by bringing them closer to energy sources and providing them greater control over their usage, he added.