IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016 - 96

forensics, allowing for local, regional, and national coordination. They also provide a good example of how to create messages that transcend SDO ownership.

Fusing Models
There are currently multiple models that interact with the
power grid model as defined by the IEC TC57 CIM. There is a
need for combining models that can be used operationally by
utilities to integrate real-time information relating the impact
of nongrid events (e.g., cybersecurity or natural disaster) to
electricity delivery. Note that existing models are domain specific and do not provide appropriate interfaces with each other.
The reliable operation of the power grid requires generation and load to be in balance and the transmission corridors
to have enough capacity to transmit electricity where it is
needed. Managing this operation requires data from several
sources to be combined into a cohesive view of the grid's status. Grid operators need static information on the power grid
topology and capacity of the generation. Other information
includes operational plans for generation and interchange
schedules, load forecasts, and outage reports. Another common set of information that is used to maintain reliable grid
operations is weather data. Larger utilities often produce
weather forecast data in house.
Reliable grid operation also depends upon continuous
operation of control center computers and substation devices
including intelligent electronic devices (IEDs). To maintain continuous computer operation, system operators must
understand vulnerabilities relevant to their devices. This
vulnerability data is shared in several formats.
✔ Glossaries such as the one produced by the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) called
the Glossary of Key Information Security Terms (http://
nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/ir/2013/NISTIR.7298r2.
pdf) can be used for defining cybersecurity threats.
✔ The NIST National Vulnerability Database (NVD,
https://nvd.nist.gov/) includes the known vulnerabilities and alerts the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness
Team and the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team and can be used by vulnerability
assessment tools and intrusion detection systems.
✔ The Structured Threat Information eXpression (STIX,
https://stix.mitre.org/) is an open collaborative and
community-driven capability to convey structured
cyberthreat information.
✔ Vendors use various tools to report problems or
defects, but these tools have no interface with the
NVD and do not currently make use of the Common
Vulnerability Scoring System.
Beyond understanding vulnerabilities and threats to computer applications, the utility must also understand the communication paths between the data sources (e.g., substations)
and the control center. The Distributed Management Task
Force (DMTF, http://www.dmtf.org/) is a standards organization founded in the 1990s with the goal of unifying computer
96

ieee power & energy magazine

science related technologies and standards. The DMTF is
responsible for developing standards such as the Simple Network Management Protocol, the DMTF information model,
computer system profile, and Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware. The DMTF information model
provides a method to describe the computer assets in the utility
and the communication between them.
The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM, https://
www.niem.gov/) is a proven standard for exchanging information between organizations. It is a community-driven model that
originated in 2005 as a modular form of the Global Justice XML
Data Model. Since that time, it has become both broader and
more detailed and is now used across more than a dozen diverse
domains. NIEM also provides tools, methodologies, and processes to implement information exchanges and interoperable
systems including a recent UML specification. By facilitating
the exchange of information between existing systems, current
systems need not be replaced or significantly changed.
Validating the integrity of relay configurations is another
important issue. The expectation is that current configuration information could be validated against the power system
state information from supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) historians. With this information, the application would be able to use integrity checking to identify if
the relay configuration has been tampered with. Second, by
using system state information from the SCADA historian,
the application would also be able to verify if the device performed according to the expectations previously defined for
the use case. This requires the IEC-61850 IED configuration
files (.CID files) from field relays, authentic .CID files of the
devices from archives, and system state information from
SCADA historians mapped to those IEDs.
A verification of the appropriateness of the command with
reference to the system level is performed whenever a control decision is made at the substation level. This verification
would be a part of the energy management system (EMS) in
the main control center communicating with its agents in substations. Whenever commands are issued to a field device or
controller, the EMS receives the command through its agents.
If the command is perceived as harmful to the EMS, the application would check the source of the command and verify its
authenticity using the Substation Configuration Language file
for the substation. The EMS would issue a warning with necessary details to the operator implementing the change.

Functional Uses
Following are some examples of externalities important to
reliable grid operation that could be included in an extended
power grid model. The aim is to find a way to enable this public and private information sharing securely in a standardsbased approach and integrate it into existing operations.

Emergency Information Sharing
Utility operators need to be informed about public safety
events, emergency response actions, incidents, and alerts,
january/february 2016


http://https:// http://www.niem.gov/ http://http:// http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/ir/2013/NISTIR.7298r2 https://nvd.nist.gov/ https://stix.mitre.org/ http://www.dmtf.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016

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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - January/February 2016 - Cover3
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