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AMI networks: PKI security considerations
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of April 2012
The past year has seen several security incidents involving root certificate authorities, the organizations underpinning much of the security across modern data networks via their use of public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates. The incidents, while limited in scope, reveal a weakness in PKI security: The fundamental complexity in guaranteeing the integrity of all aspects of the provisioning and deployment process, from protecting the root and intermediate certificates, to ensuring the privacy of the keys that guarantee their authenticity. The rollout of PKI components in emerging smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology introduces a new class of risk to this formerly manually managed infrastructure. A breach of an AMI network’s PKI could result in the compromise of an electric utility’s entire distribution network, with cascading impact to connected transmission and generation assets. This risk is compounded when the utility does not manage the PKI components themselves, instead relying ...
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Features in this issue
UTMs aren’t just for SMBs anymore. Here are four requirements for enterprise-grade UTM.
Tokenization protects sensitive data to reduce the compliance burden.
PKI components in smart grid and AMI infrastructure introduce new hazards.
Accuvant analysis and hacking contests illustrate browser security improvements.
Columns in this issue
It’s easy to be cynical about the latest security buzzword, but don’t be so quick to dismiss it.
Security expert Marcus Ranum talks with Peter Kuper, a partner with In-Q-Tel focused on funding compelling startups to accelerate innovation for the intelligence community.
New technologies and business models are rapidly changing the role of the security pro.