Utilities worldwide are rolling out smart grids to help manage energy use more effectively. By providing communication at multiple points in the grid, utilities are able to measure instantaneous electricity consumption, isolate faults, control demand, and inform their customers about pricing and consumption.
However, this constant back-and-forth flow of communication also opens up this critical infrastructure to a cyber attack. The MAX36025 has been developed as a security manager that can be placed at the access point/data concentrator in a smart grid network to add security to these crucial points of data aggregation.
The device’s two hardware AES engines move encryption into hardware, drastically reducing design time, and raising levels of security. As a result system designers can be freed from writing encryption code that takes a long time to write, debug, and implement. Encryption software can also have security vulnerabilities in the form of undetected bugs which can be attacked with a virus. The MAX36025’s two AES engines can be used on independent channels to protect different networks or used simultaneously on the same channel for double encryption.