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The development of a trustworthy smart grid requires a deeper understanding of potential impacts resulting from successful cyber attacks. Estimating feasible attack impact requires an evaluation of the grid's dependency on its cyber infrastructure and its ability to tolerate potential failures. A further exploration of the cyber-physical relationships within the smart grid and a specific review of possible attack vectors is necessary to determine the adequacy of cybersecurity efforts. This paper highlights the significance of cyber infrastructure security in conjunction with power application security to prevent, mitigate, and tolerate cyber attacks. A layered approach is introduced to evaluating risk based on the security of both the physical power applications and the supporting cyber infrastructure. A classification is presented to highlight dependencies between the cyber-physical controls required to support the smart grid and the communication and computations that must be protected from cyber attack. The paper then presents current research efforts aimed at enhancing the smart grid's application and infrastructure security. Finally, current challenges are identified to facilitate future research efforts.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2012