Can blockchain increase the security of smart grids?

By 18th Sep 2018 Blog
Wireless Communication - Turrito Networks

Blockchain is then new technology with promise to disrupt many industries. It is gaining traction while smart grid management systems are diagnosing problems and emergencies and responding to them. It is also important when thinking about hackers and the recent hack from Russia to at lease one grid in the US.

The security of these grids is important, and some believe that blockchain technology can improve said security. Blockchain technology can provide better interconnectivity, data exchanges and permission control.

Smart grids relay on automation and remote access to work efficiently. However, these two aspects bring security concerns. The potential for individuals to hack into these grids is very possible and has already occurred. The security measures that are important to these grids are:

  1. Authentication – verification that someone is entering the network and who they are
  2. Authorization – verification that whoever is entering the network is authorised to do so

Lets deep dive into some cases and how blockchain technology can help prevent these risks

Prevention of hacking and attacks

In 2016, researchers successfully physically hacked turbines on wind farms in America. They used a Raspberry Pi and were able to successfully shut down the turbines. The scary part is that they could get access to the entire farm and shut it down completely and they could provide feedback that allowed the farmers to think that no hack was happening. Whilst wind farms are not the biggest energy resource, this pointed out that it is in fact possible.

Blockchain technology could possibly prevent this with identification security through public-private encryption with key access. People trying to access the system would need to verify their identity and authorization to do so, if the codes are kept safe and secure, blockchain will do the rest.

Backing the security of smart cities and infrastructure

Urbanization is increasing rapidly with 1.5 million people moving to urban areas weekly. To meet the needs of this rapid growth, governments have formulated smart cities. The hurdles developing these smart cities include waste management, traffic controls, and resource usage for electricity.

Much of the technology required to build these cities is already here such as smart buildings with start up heating and cooling systems that operate within the arrival and departure times of humans, street lights that are programmed to turn on and off when needed, monitoring of water supplies and street warmers for cities with an icier climate. Due to it’s ability to record and store records and make data exchanges seamless, Blockchain is the ideal solution to help monitor and manage such cities.

Peer-to-peer trading environments

With the growing population taking a toll on non-renewable resources, an increasing demand for more sustainable resources has grown. This has also influenced people to buy, sell and trade energy sources. In the UK and South Africa companies are using blockchain technology to do exactly this with solar energy. Using blockchain, companies such as Verv and the Sun Exchange verify transactions and identities.

The key with blockchain technology here is security to ensure that transactions are legitimate.

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