Research Topic

Cybersecurity and Resilience of Smart Grids

About this Research Topic

Recent accelerated innovation in computation, communication and electronics has paved the way for unprecedented transformation of traditional power systems to what we perceive now as the smart grid. Despite the significant advantages resulting from this transformation, recent cyber incidents and research demonstrated how vulnerable smart grid systems are to advanced cyber attacks. Furthermore, it has illustrated the associated risks and potential paramount negative impacts.

The fact that digitization exposes inherent systems vulnerabilities in addition to introducing new vulnerabilities. On the other hand, digitization also highlights the opportunities that technological advancements can offer to improve the resilient, safe and reliable operation of the smart grid. Securing the smart grid is a long term goal that requires focused and evolving research in several directions/domains including security monitoring, adaptive risk-aware operation, advanced and distributed attack detection and mitigation, trust-based distributed operation, 5G and industrial IoT security, resilient-by-design, threat-modeling and risk assessments, etc. As such, this special issue targets the following specifications of research:

Data-driven enhanced operation
● Artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled safe and reliable operation including topics such as: self-organizing and self-healing networks
● Secure data governance, privacy and sharing including data validity, trust and privacy-preserving algorithms
● Advanced and distributed monitoring system deployment to ensure safe and reliable system operation

Resilience
● Platforms to improve smart grid resilience against cyber-physical malicious attacks including prevention, detection, robustness, survivability, and
recovery
● Engineering approaches to improve smart grid resilience including redundancy, flexibility, deception etc
● Risk & resilience assessment and quantification
● Architectures, technologies and optimization approaches for system operation that improves the security posture of the system
● Cyber-physical approaches to address complex disruption scenarios such as cascading failure in smart grids
● Enhanced resilience through interdependent critical infrastructures

Protocols, communication technologies, and device analysis
● Smart grid communication protocols: security and advanced time and data transfer
● Threat modeling and anomaly detection in smart grid proprietary communication protocols
● Device fingerprinting and malware analysis to detect the possible vulnerabilities in the intelligent electronic devices
● Zero trust and real time authentication of devices
● Secure OT/ICS/SCADA systems in smart grids
● Trusted smart grid use-cases of 5G (mIoT and URLLC) and emerging communication technologies
● Blockchain technology for secure and transparent management of smart grids

Experimental & Co-simulation enabled studies
● Advancements in co-simulation testbeds, real time simulation, and Hardware in the loop simulations and digital twins to enable cybersecurity studies
● Experimental cybersecurity vulnerability assessments, risk modeling, resilient operation

We are particularly interested in smart grid security analysis, assessment, and improvements that are enabled by the extensive use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, communication technologies and protocols, data and device analytics, co simulation and testbeds among others.

We welcome original research articles positioning some novel ideas related to the (i) providing solutions for security challenges in smart grids, (ii) modeling challenges and impact studies, (iii) exploring the attack surfaces and prevention techniques, and (iv) proposing algorithms to assess the system posture and improve it operation-related areas in forms of short and regular research articles reporting recent results, implementation and performance evaluation for these technologies and systematic review articles presenting open questions and challenges for modeling and improvement.


Keywords: Smart grids, Cyber risk assessment, Threat modeling and situational awareness, Threat detection and mitigation, Cyber resilience, Cyber-physical resilience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent accelerated innovation in computation, communication and electronics has paved the way for unprecedented transformation of traditional power systems to what we perceive now as the smart grid. Despite the significant advantages resulting from this transformation, recent cyber incidents and research demonstrated how vulnerable smart grid systems are to advanced cyber attacks. Furthermore, it has illustrated the associated risks and potential paramount negative impacts.

The fact that digitization exposes inherent systems vulnerabilities in addition to introducing new vulnerabilities. On the other hand, digitization also highlights the opportunities that technological advancements can offer to improve the resilient, safe and reliable operation of the smart grid. Securing the smart grid is a long term goal that requires focused and evolving research in several directions/domains including security monitoring, adaptive risk-aware operation, advanced and distributed attack detection and mitigation, trust-based distributed operation, 5G and industrial IoT security, resilient-by-design, threat-modeling and risk assessments, etc. As such, this special issue targets the following specifications of research:

Data-driven enhanced operation
● Artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled safe and reliable operation including topics such as: self-organizing and self-healing networks
● Secure data governance, privacy and sharing including data validity, trust and privacy-preserving algorithms
● Advanced and distributed monitoring system deployment to ensure safe and reliable system operation

Resilience
● Platforms to improve smart grid resilience against cyber-physical malicious attacks including prevention, detection, robustness, survivability, and
recovery
● Engineering approaches to improve smart grid resilience including redundancy, flexibility, deception etc
● Risk & resilience assessment and quantification
● Architectures, technologies and optimization approaches for system operation that improves the security posture of the system
● Cyber-physical approaches to address complex disruption scenarios such as cascading failure in smart grids
● Enhanced resilience through interdependent critical infrastructures

Protocols, communication technologies, and device analysis
● Smart grid communication protocols: security and advanced time and data transfer
● Threat modeling and anomaly detection in smart grid proprietary communication protocols
● Device fingerprinting and malware analysis to detect the possible vulnerabilities in the intelligent electronic devices
● Zero trust and real time authentication of devices
● Secure OT/ICS/SCADA systems in smart grids
● Trusted smart grid use-cases of 5G (mIoT and URLLC) and emerging communication technologies
● Blockchain technology for secure and transparent management of smart grids

Experimental & Co-simulation enabled studies
● Advancements in co-simulation testbeds, real time simulation, and Hardware in the loop simulations and digital twins to enable cybersecurity studies
● Experimental cybersecurity vulnerability assessments, risk modeling, resilient operation

We are particularly interested in smart grid security analysis, assessment, and improvements that are enabled by the extensive use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, communication technologies and protocols, data and device analytics, co simulation and testbeds among others.

We welcome original research articles positioning some novel ideas related to the (i) providing solutions for security challenges in smart grids, (ii) modeling challenges and impact studies, (iii) exploring the attack surfaces and prevention techniques, and (iv) proposing algorithms to assess the system posture and improve it operation-related areas in forms of short and regular research articles reporting recent results, implementation and performance evaluation for these technologies and systematic review articles presenting open questions and challenges for modeling and improvement.


Keywords: Smart grids, Cyber risk assessment, Threat modeling and situational awareness, Threat detection and mitigation, Cyber resilience, Cyber-physical resilience


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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