PLCloud: Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption

Henry Senyondo, Pengfei Sun, Robin Berthier, Saman Aliari Zonouz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Recent security threats against cyber-physical critical power grid infrastructures have further distinguished the differences and complex interdependencies between optimal plant control and infrastructural safety topics. In this paper, we reflect upon few real-world scenarios and threats to understand how those two topics meet. We then propose a practical architectural solutions to address the corresponding concerns. As a first concrete step, we focus on networked industrial control systems in smart grid where several sensing-processing-Actuation embedded nodes receive information, make control decisions, and carry out optimal actions. Traditionally, global safety maintenance, e.g., transient stability, is embedded into control and taken into account by the decision making modules. With recent cyber security-induced safety incidents, we believe that the safety-handling modules should also be considered as a part of global trusted computing base (attack surface) for security purposes. Generally, maximizing the system's overall security requires the designers to minimize its trusted computing base. Consequently, we argue that the traditional combined safety-control system architecture is not anymore the optimal design paradigm to follow given existing threats. Instead, we propose PLCLOUD, a new cloud-based safety-preserving architecture that places a minimal trusted safety verifier layer between the physical world and the cyber-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) infrastructure, specifically programmable logic controllers (PLCs). PLCLOUD's main objective is to take care of infrastructural safety and separate it from optimal plant control that SCADA is responsible for.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages809-816
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467382892
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 17 2016
EventIEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015 - Miami, United States
Duration: Nov 1 2015Nov 5 2015

Publication series

Name2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015

Other

OtherIEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015
CountryUnited States
CityMiami
Period11/1/1511/5/15

Fingerprint

Programmable logic controllers
Monitoring
Data acquisition
Control systems
Security systems
Decision making
Processing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Senyondo, H., Sun, P., Berthier, R., & Aliari Zonouz, S. (2016). PLCloud: Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015 (pp. 809-816). [7436401] (2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436401
Senyondo, Henry ; Sun, Pengfei ; Berthier, Robin ; Aliari Zonouz, Saman. / PLCloud : Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption. 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2016. pp. 809-816 (2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015).
@inproceedings{bafa25a1ff9f4e6cb93f098b2d442150,
title = "PLCloud: Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption",
abstract = "Recent security threats against cyber-physical critical power grid infrastructures have further distinguished the differences and complex interdependencies between optimal plant control and infrastructural safety topics. In this paper, we reflect upon few real-world scenarios and threats to understand how those two topics meet. We then propose a practical architectural solutions to address the corresponding concerns. As a first concrete step, we focus on networked industrial control systems in smart grid where several sensing-processing-Actuation embedded nodes receive information, make control decisions, and carry out optimal actions. Traditionally, global safety maintenance, e.g., transient stability, is embedded into control and taken into account by the decision making modules. With recent cyber security-induced safety incidents, we believe that the safety-handling modules should also be considered as a part of global trusted computing base (attack surface) for security purposes. Generally, maximizing the system's overall security requires the designers to minimize its trusted computing base. Consequently, we argue that the traditional combined safety-control system architecture is not anymore the optimal design paradigm to follow given existing threats. Instead, we propose PLCLOUD, a new cloud-based safety-preserving architecture that places a minimal trusted safety verifier layer between the physical world and the cyber-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) infrastructure, specifically programmable logic controllers (PLCs). PLCLOUD's main objective is to take care of infrastructural safety and separate it from optimal plant control that SCADA is responsible for.",
author = "Henry Senyondo and Pengfei Sun and Robin Berthier and {Aliari Zonouz}, Saman",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
day = "17",
doi = "https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436401",
language = "English (US)",
series = "2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015",
publisher = "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.",
pages = "809--816",
booktitle = "2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015",
address = "United States",

}

Senyondo, H, Sun, P, Berthier, R & Aliari Zonouz, S 2016, PLCloud: Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption. in 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015., 7436401, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., pp. 809-816, IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015, Miami, United States, 11/1/15. https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436401

PLCloud : Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption. / Senyondo, Henry; Sun, Pengfei; Berthier, Robin; Aliari Zonouz, Saman.

2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2016. p. 809-816 7436401 (2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - PLCloud

T2 - Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption

AU - Senyondo, Henry

AU - Sun, Pengfei

AU - Berthier, Robin

AU - Aliari Zonouz, Saman

PY - 2016/3/17

Y1 - 2016/3/17

N2 - Recent security threats against cyber-physical critical power grid infrastructures have further distinguished the differences and complex interdependencies between optimal plant control and infrastructural safety topics. In this paper, we reflect upon few real-world scenarios and threats to understand how those two topics meet. We then propose a practical architectural solutions to address the corresponding concerns. As a first concrete step, we focus on networked industrial control systems in smart grid where several sensing-processing-Actuation embedded nodes receive information, make control decisions, and carry out optimal actions. Traditionally, global safety maintenance, e.g., transient stability, is embedded into control and taken into account by the decision making modules. With recent cyber security-induced safety incidents, we believe that the safety-handling modules should also be considered as a part of global trusted computing base (attack surface) for security purposes. Generally, maximizing the system's overall security requires the designers to minimize its trusted computing base. Consequently, we argue that the traditional combined safety-control system architecture is not anymore the optimal design paradigm to follow given existing threats. Instead, we propose PLCLOUD, a new cloud-based safety-preserving architecture that places a minimal trusted safety verifier layer between the physical world and the cyber-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) infrastructure, specifically programmable logic controllers (PLCs). PLCLOUD's main objective is to take care of infrastructural safety and separate it from optimal plant control that SCADA is responsible for.

AB - Recent security threats against cyber-physical critical power grid infrastructures have further distinguished the differences and complex interdependencies between optimal plant control and infrastructural safety topics. In this paper, we reflect upon few real-world scenarios and threats to understand how those two topics meet. We then propose a practical architectural solutions to address the corresponding concerns. As a first concrete step, we focus on networked industrial control systems in smart grid where several sensing-processing-Actuation embedded nodes receive information, make control decisions, and carry out optimal actions. Traditionally, global safety maintenance, e.g., transient stability, is embedded into control and taken into account by the decision making modules. With recent cyber security-induced safety incidents, we believe that the safety-handling modules should also be considered as a part of global trusted computing base (attack surface) for security purposes. Generally, maximizing the system's overall security requires the designers to minimize its trusted computing base. Consequently, we argue that the traditional combined safety-control system architecture is not anymore the optimal design paradigm to follow given existing threats. Instead, we propose PLCLOUD, a new cloud-based safety-preserving architecture that places a minimal trusted safety verifier layer between the physical world and the cyber-based supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) infrastructure, specifically programmable logic controllers (PLCs). PLCLOUD's main objective is to take care of infrastructural safety and separate it from optimal plant control that SCADA is responsible for.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84964988375&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84964988375&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436401

DO - https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436401

M3 - Conference contribution

T3 - 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015

SP - 809

EP - 816

BT - 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015

PB - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

ER -

Senyondo H, Sun P, Berthier R, Aliari Zonouz S. PLCloud: Comprehensive power grid PLC security monitoring with zero safety disruption. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. 2016. p. 809-816. 7436401. (2015 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications, SmartGridComm 2015). https://doi.org/10.1109/SmartGridComm.2015.7436401