Secure Meters

As Smart Metering becomes more prevalent, data security is becoming a major concern. Data from these meters is sent to utility companies and can be used for billing and operational purposes. This can pose a serious risk to home owners and the national grid if security is not adequately addressed. Many smart energy meter devices use wireless communication to transmit data and are vulnerable to interception. This information can be used to identify household habits, which threatens homeowners’ privacy. In addition, it can also be used to commit electricity theft or disrupt the flow of power through the smart grid. Engineers are developing new techniques to ensure secure communications in the Smart Grid and improve meter data collection and processing.

One such technique is machine learning, which can detect unusual patterns in meter data that may indicate a security breach. This is especially important for detecting tampering of the data that can result in inaccurate readings and higher bills. ML can also protect against cybersecurity vulnerabilities by identifying anomalies in the meter’s software and hardware.

Another method is to encrypt the data transmitted from the smart meter, which can prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of theft. However, if the encryption keys are not distributed and managed securely, the data can still be intercepted and manipulated. To address this problem, engineers are developing new algorithms that provide more effective encryption and decryption methods while maintaining performance.

Secure Meters for the Smart Grid

The first step in ensuring the security of smart meters is to design the communications protocols. These must be able to transmit usage reports in short time intervals while addressing the limitations of the smart meter’s limited resources. In addition to this, the protocols should guarantee credentials’ privacy and session-key security. [29] presents a protocol for securing smart meter-to-NAN communications that uses a cryptographic scheme that is suitable for real-time applications and supports desired security attributes.

To further enhance the security of Smart Meters, researchers have developed a variety of approaches that are based on the principles of cryptography and the privacy-preserving principle (PPP). These include differential privacy, which provides strong privacy protection while reducing the size of the transmission, and probabilistic ciphertext approximation, which allows for accurate estimation of the consumption without disclosing specific values. In addition, new mechanisms have been proposed to provide additional security in smart meters, such as MAC-based authentication and secure multiparty computation.

Secure Meters is a UK based company that provides electronic instruments for measurement and analysis of electrical energy and the control of electric power systems. These range from analogue panel instruments to electronic transducers and high-end grid meters. The company has been in business for over 50 years and is a recognized name in SE Asia and the Middle East. They have recently added two new flows to their product range that support collaboration among domestic devices and help in the detection of anomalies in the energy readings. These new flows are called defence and sharing flows, which allow each device to share its energy readings with neighbouring devices in the home network.