Tech companies prioritizing power grid security
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Tech companies prioritizing power grid security

In order for a power grid to work, it can't only be functional – it needs to be secure as well. Without the right safety precautions, utilities providers can find themselves facing outages, cyberattacks and more. Fortunately, IT companies are stepping in to provide the solutions.

Cisco recently announced enhancements to the Connected Grid Security Architecture, which will not only increase automation for utilities service providers, but add the layers of physical and cyber security they need to stay up and running when it counts. For example, among the physical solutions are integrated surveillance cameras, sensor networks and card readers, while Cisco Security Intelligence Operation (SIO) helps keep hackers at bay by gathering real-time insight into the worldwide threat environment.

GigaOM reported that one California startup plans to enter the utilities security field with quantum encryption. GridCOM Technologies told the source that it uses a quantum server, which harnesses the power of photons, to generate security keys for grids. By using this innovative method, utilities companies can download numerous keys that operate even quicker – within four seconds – than those used in conventional encryption.

The news source noted that GridCOM still has a way to go – the company needs to effectively demonstrate that its methods could be a practical solution to security challenges. It plans to conduct a test of its technologies by the end of 2013.