Silver Spring has designed the network interfaces that sit inside each interconnected endpoint, as well as the firmware that runs them, with stringent authentication and authorization measures. Gaining access to a single device does not open up access across the entire network. Instead, each endpoint connection operates with separate smart grid security credentials. As a result, a hacker would not be able to launch a virus or other attack to issue critical commands such as remote disconnect to a string of meters, for example.
We also incorporate tamper detection and resistance technologies to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to even a single endpoint.
Firmware, the software that programs the hardware behavior on Silver Spring network devices, requires that its digital signature be verified before initiating an upgrade, which prevents the firmware from being co-opted to serve as a path for relaying a virus.
In addition to ensuring that only authorized personnel can access these devices, Silver Spring smart grid security protects communication confidentiality by encrypting the data transmissions between endpoints and applications. We also ensure data integrity by applying hash functions.
The SilverLink Control Platform incorporates additional security measures to protect the operation of the critical infrastructure network. It supports role-based access control, for example, which reduces the threat that inside personnel could attempt to issue commands across smart grid infrastructure outside of their jurisdiction.
At Silver Spring, we recognize that our utility and city customers must fully understand the broad scope of our security measures, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss this topic in more depth.