Smart Meter Cybersecurity

Scalable Cybersecurity Solutions for Utility Applications

With millions of smart meter devices from multiple manufacturers entering a utility’s network, deploying symmetric security solutions quickly becomes cumbersome. By comparison, a public-key based solution reduces deployment efforts, reduces the risks from compromised keys, and enables multiple companies to participate without requiring them to share sensitive data or information with each other. In addition, public-key solutions enable offline authentication, which means a device can authenticate to a base station or reader without requiring any connections back to a central server.

For example, if you are looking to provide security between smart utility meters and a substation or between utility meters and a head end, Veridify’s methods can be used to ensure all players are authenticated using the public-key-based Walnut Digital Signature Algorithm and Ironwood Key Agreement Protocol.

Legacy public-key methods like RSA and ECC, often used in the Utility sector, may work fine on large systems like servers – but they are either too big, or if they can be made to fit, are too slow on many embedded systems. Moreover, while a larger system may be able to support these legacy systems, a gateway or server may need to communicate with smaller devices running on 8-bit or 16-bit processors, and these small platforms cannot support RSA or ECC.

Veridify’s methods not only fit on the smallest devices, but a WalnutDSA signature validation can run 40 times faster than an Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) signature validation, using a fraction of the code space. An Ironwood KAP key agreement can be 100 times faster than Elliptic Curve – Diffie Hellman (ECDH) and requires only a fraction of the code space.

Veridify’s methods meet the security requirements of a smart utility network and provide for flexible implementation and the fastest time to market. Utility networks are often deployed to run for decades on the grid, therefore must also consider the risks presented by quantum computers. Veridify’s methods are quantum resistant to all known threats.

Figure: Sample IoT device lifecycle for smart meters. Veridify’s security solutions bring simplicity to utility applications. Our methods reduce deployment efforts, reduce the risks from compromised keys, and enable multiple companies to participate without requiring them to share sensitive data or information with each other.

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Contact us to learn how Veridify's small and fast security methods apply to your utility and smart meter applications.