The rise of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) has revolutionized the way utilities collect and manage data. Implementing AMI improves the efficiency and accuracy of energy consumption monitoring and billing, and provides more real time information and control to consumers. But AMI also increases the exposure of both utilities and consumers to cyber threats.
AMI installations comprise a wide range of interconnected devices – most of which are deployed out in the field – from smart meters to data gateways, as well as communication networks and data management systems. The large surface area of this AMI infrastructure and its interconnectedness create new security challenges that must be addressed by utilities and their cybersecurity partners.
AMI platforms pose physical security risks. The deployment of smart meters on customer premises means that there are now more points of access into the utility networks. Malicious actors can use physical attacks, such as tampering with the meters or the communication infrastructure, to gain access to the network. And if an attacker can compromise the AMI infrastructure, this can result in a potential threat to the entire energy grid.
Threats to AMI installations come in various forms, including:
- Unauthorized access to customer data and system controls
- Malware and ransomware attacks on network components
- Physical tampering with meters and other devices
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on communication networks
Given the significant risks associated with AMI platforms, it is critical for utility companies to take proactive steps to protect their systems. This includes implementing robust cyber security protocols, ensuring that perimeter devices have hardened configurations, maintaining defense in depth throughout the AMI network with proper segmentation from critical infrastructure, conducting regular security assessments, and partnering with trusted cyber security experts to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities.
Here at Securicon we specialize in helping utility companies protect their AMI and other critical platforms from cyber security threats. Our team of experienced professionals can conduct thorough security assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities, develop custom solutions to address those vulnerabilities, and provide ongoing support to ensure that your AMI platform remains secure.