Cyber Security of a Power Grid: State-of-the-Art

Sun, C.C., Hahn, A., Liu, C-C.


International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, Volume 99, 2018, Pages 45-56, ISSN 0142-0615,


The integration of computing and communication capabilities with the power grid has led to numerous vulnerabilities in the cyber-physical system (CPS). This cyber security threat can significantly impact the physical infrastructure, economy, and society. In traditional IT environments, there are already abundant attack cases demonstrating that unauthorized users have the capability to access and manipulate sensitive data from a protected network domain. Electric power grids have also heavily adopted information technology (IT) to perform real-time control, monitoring, and maintenance tasks. In 2015, a sophisticated cyber attack targeted Ukrainian’s power grid causing wide area power outages. It highlights the importance of investment on cyber security against intruders. This paper provides a state-of-the-art survey of the most relevant cyber security studies in power systems. It reviews research that demonstrates cyber security risks and constructs solutions to enhance the security of a power grid. To achieve this goal, this paper covers: (1) a survey of the state-of-the-art smart grid technologies, (2) power industry practices and standards, (3) solutions that address cyber security issues, (4) a review of existing CPS testbeds for cyber security research, and (5) unsolved cyber security problems. Power grid cyber security research has been conducted at Washington State University (WSU) with a hardware-in-a-loop CPS testbed. A demonstration is provided to show how the proposed defense systems can be deployed to protect a power grid against cyber intruders.

Related Videos

Related Research Themes

Related Technologies

Related Impact Areas

Copyright Notice

This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

  1. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in IEEE publications: "Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/publish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from IEEE."

  2. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in ACM publications: "© ACM, effective the year of publication shown in the bibliographic information. This file is the authorís version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the journal or proceedings indicated in the bibliographic data for each item."

  3. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in IFAC publications: "Document is being reproduced under permission of the Copyright Holder. Use or reproduction of the Document is for informational or personal use only."