UL, NREL reveal DERs cybersecurity report, call for industry standards to protect against threats

Mar 9, 2022 08:27 PM ET
  • Safety as well as certification company UL and the United States Division of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have actually released a report into the cybersecurity people interconnected grid side devices and inverter-based resources that requires safety criteria to be developed to counter potential threats.
UL, NREL reveal DERs cybersecurity report, call for industry standards to protect against threats
Image: UL

The report pointed to a "market shift from utility-scale to dispersed generation", suggesting higher security of dispersed energy resources (DERs) is called for to ensure the safety of those possessions and also the bigger US grid system from cyberattacks.

It stated DERs depend on sophisticated computer system systems in both the information technology (IT) and functional technology (OT) space, which could be possibly penetrated by common cyberattacks, such as eavesdropping, replay, man-in-the-middle (MITM) assaults, denial-of-service (DoS) strikes as well as more.

" To mitigate the impact of these prospective attacks, cybersecurity certification requirements and also programs require to be developed," said the report, including that a safety standard would certainly sustain "DER adoption into the grid without danger of endangering grid safety and security."

While the report will be utilized to create a "voluntary UL cybersecurity certification criterion for DER stakeholders", there are likewise prepares to develop a future equipment requirement and create a market value for cybersecurity certification to motivate market stakeholders to embrace more safe and secure systems.

A range of DERs are at risk to cyberattacks, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and also wind plants, yet solar PV is revealed as a result of the raising progression of clever inverter technologies that connect straight with the grid network. The report stated the most common attack vector for solar PV was via monitoring as well as control abilities adhered to by sensing unit measurements which can be become manipulate voltage.

UL and NREL executed 2 certification tests on solar PV inverters. The first was done on industry typical PVs, while the 2nd test was carried out on PVs running an invasion discovery interaction device (" bump-in-the-wire") remedy called DERCyST.

The tests, which examined 10 different cybersecurity capabilities, found that "assaults can be mitigated by including software and services, such as DERCyST in Test 2, which make it possible for DERs to pass the certification recommendations right into the DER environment", while Test 1 revealed susceptabilities in the ordinary industry PV inverter.

The report asks for a 'defence-in-depth' strategy to cybersecurity that has long been made use of to safeguard advanced and delicate IT systems. Under the technique, if a strike were to breach one layer of defence, it would certainly be visited a subsequent layer. Each of the 10 layers is described detailed in the report.

UL has reviewed and approved the recommended functionalities, verifying their practicality, integrity as well as use for market. "UL's support for this report will certainly increase the adoption of the certification recommendation includes to a UL certification program and also a cybersecurity requirement for DERs," said the report.

" Presently, there are no cybersecurity certification needs to which makers as well as suppliers can certify their DER and also IBR gadgets against a recognized as well as extensively embraced cybersecurity certification program," said Kenneth Boyce, elderly supervisor for Principal Engineering, Industrial, group at UL.

" The development of these brand-new cybersecurity certification demands will provide a solitary unified method that can be taken as a referral for performing the testing as well as certification of DERs prior to being released and while in the field."

The cybersecurity certification referrals were notified via working group cooperations among NREL, Sandia National Laboratories, the SunSpec Alliance as well as "sector partners".

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