According to a recent report by Pike Research, utility operators are now in open discussions about protection products for smart grid security, and these conversations will lead to significant growth in the sector over the next several years. Cumulative smart grid cyber security investment from 2011 to 2018 will total $14 billion, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.
According to Pike Research (Boulder, Colo., USA), very few smart grid security issues have been resolved over the past year, and increasing smart grid deployments mean that the issues are now more critical than ever.
"Cyber security remains a check-the-box exercise for many utilities, with spending limited to whatever is needed to survive compliance audits," says senior analyst Bob Lockhart. "As some technologies, such as smart metering, near a decade of thought and deployment, the approach to cyber security has become more thoughtful. One thing, unfortunately, has not changed: cyber security is still way behind the attackers."
Lockhart also said that control system security has begun to receive the attention it deserves as a critical element of grid stability. As utilities' operations teams have become savvier about security, the likelihood that IT security solutions will be considered as immediate fits for control systems, without modification, has lessened.
Smart grid  technology vendors are now proactively seeking out security vendors for assistance in building cyber security into their new products, says Pike Research. As a result, 63% of smart grid cyber security investment through 2018 will be focused on utility control system segments.