Smart Grids Communications: Protocols and Cybersecurity

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Building 9, Level 2, Room 2325, Lecture Hall 2


The conventional power system is transforming into a smart grid through the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT). The incorporation of advanced ICT in the smart grid enhances its control and operational efficiency. The communication framework plays a crucial role in facilitating real-time data exchange among various components of smart grids, such as sensors, meters, and control centers. Numerous initiatives have been undertaken to develop diverse communication technologies, standards, and protocols tailored for smart grids. The implementation of protocols within smart grids ensures seamless interoperability and efficient data transmission. Examining widely adopted standards like IEC 61850, the talk highlights their significance in achieving reliable and standardized communication across diverse devices and systems within the smart grid ecosystem. Cybersecurity emerges as a critical concern in the context of smart grids due to the increased connectivity and data exchange. Previously, it was believed that the specialized and distinct nature of communication protocols in the power system made the "security by obscurity" approach adequate. However, as communication protocols are standardized, the notion of "security by obscurity" is no longer applicable. This talk provides an overview of the security challenges in smart grids and conducts a comprehensive analysis of smart grid security standards, such as IEC 62351, designed to secure smart grids.

Brief Biography

Suhail Shaik received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Jamia Millia Islamia (a Central University), New Delhi, India in 2018. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor with Electrical Engineering Department King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He is also an affiliate at Interdisciplinary Research Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (IRC-SES) and Fellow with K.A.CARE Energy Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), KFUPM, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Prior to that he was AIST postdoctoral researcher at Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA), Koriyama, Japan and Senior Research Fellow with Department of Computer Science, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore. His research interests include power system communication, cyber-physical energy systems, smart grid cybersecurity and renewable energy integration. He is a senior member of the IEEE and was a recipient of IEEE Standards Education Grant approved by the IEEE Standards Education Committee for implementing project and submitting a student application paper in 2014-15. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy.

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