A Multidimensional Holistic Framework for the Security of Distributed Energy and Control Systems

Danish Saleem, Anuj Sanghvi, Joshua Rivera, Benjamin Kroposki, Aditya Sundararajan, Arif Sarwat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations


The digitization of smart grid distributed generation and industrial control systems has prompted utilities to deploy tools with ubiquitous communications that potentially widen the attack surface. The utilities still continue to rely on the traditional cybersecurity technologies, such as firewalls, anti-malware tools, and passwords that do not ensure security across all dimensions of the information assurance model required for a strong cybersecurity business process. This paper proposes a multidimensional holistic framework that addresses this gap through advanced technologies, intelligent algorithms, and continued assessments. To show proof, the layered defense model, a solution dimension of the framework, is integrated into the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Security and Resilience Testbed to replicate a utility's enterprise and substation networks. The model is used to evaluate the security and resilience of microgrid control systems, and, based on the insights gathered, recommend best practices for utility cybersecurity analysts for a strong business process. With this baseline, the paper conceptually introduces intelligence-driven solutions comprising contextual data analysis and machine learning to respond to advanced persistent threats sponsored by campaign efforts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8755282
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Systems Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2007-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5R00-74033


  • Business process
  • distributed generation
  • industrial control systems (ICSs)
  • layered defense
  • penetration testing


Dive into the research topics of 'A Multidimensional Holistic Framework for the Security of Distributed Energy and Control Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this