Digitalisation and distributed power generation is fundamentally changing energy systems that have been centrally supplied so far. Solar photovoltaic assets, electric vehicles, electrical heating and cooling or battery storage have to be connected into an intelligent power system. At the same time, they must be protected against the growing number of security threats. Infineon Technologies AG, IBM, GreenCom Networks and icentic have joined forces to develop and provide scalable solutions for securely connecting these distributed assets into the electrical infrastructure.
At the European Utilities Week in Amsterdam, 3-5 October 2017, the partners will demonstrate a first prototype solution at the GreenCom booth 5R26. The solution is based on Infineon’s OPTIGA embedded security chips built in icentic’s ICEHUB connectivity products to authenticate devices that are connected to the Energy IoT platform of GreenCom.
Majority of the connected devices are not properly secured
Traditionally, solar photovoltaic inverters, heat pumps or batteries have not been designed to be digitally connected for monitoring, control and analytics purposes. As a matter of fact, just connecting them to a digital infrastructure allows their management, but opens the doors for security threats. All the more so as access to data is happening at the infrastructure level as well as in the backend.
According to a recent study 88 per cent of energy infrastructure suppliers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland judge IT-security as the greatest challenge for a digitalised energy infrastructure. Yet the majority of the connected devices are not properly secured: attackers could be enabled to remotely compromise the device completely, control its flow of power and even cause a shut-down of the energy network.
Connecting distributed devices into a smart and secured power grid
The joint offering of the partners addresses utilities and energy service companies that aim to offer new digital energy services to their customer base in an innovative yet secured way. It also gears towards device manufacturers that either want to embed security into their energy-relevant assets from the beginning or plan connectivity and security upgrades to enable additional value-added services of their installed devices.
GreenCom Networks’ Energy IoT platform integrates relevant analytical skills from IBM to forecast and optimise the usage of connected assets. IBM’s Hybrid Intelligence capabilities combine big data analytics, defined hardware-based security at the edge and GreenCom’s platform backend. icentic supplies and manages the required ICEHUB connectivity solution to connect distributed devices in a future-proof and secure way. The embedded security solution of Infineon’s OPTIGA family helps to securely authenticate the connected devices as well as to secure data transmission.