Critical to manage cybersecurity risk for Discoms, a robust resource base is required to ensure ecosystem security
New Delhi: IntelliSmart Infrastructure Private Limited and India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) jointly organised the third edition of the Smart Meter Cyber Security Conference 2023 in New Delhi where industry stakeholders highlighted the need of Discoms having enough well-trained cyber security professionals to effectively tackle and mitigate cyber security breaches.
The conference saw the presence of a wide range of stakeholders such as government officials, regulators, Discoms, researchers, and academics. The inaugural session was attended by Ghanshyam Prasad, Chairman, Central Electricity Authority of India, Rahul Dwivedi, Executive Director, Rural Electrification Corporation, SR Narasimhan, CMD, Grid Controller of India, Anil Rawal, MD & CEO, IntelliSmart and Reji Kumar Pillai, President, India Smart Grid Forum.
The speakers emphasised the importance of providing power distribution companies with certified cybersecurity professionals, ensuring strong cloud security, addressing vulnerabilities in the smart metering supply chain, and taking proactive measures to prevent any potential issues.
Reji Kumar Pillai, President, India Smart Grid Forum & Chairman, Global Smart Energy Federation, said, “India needs half a million cyber security experts as there are challenges to keeping the grid stable. We have 2021 Cyber Security Guidelines, and we are working on formulating cyber security policies.”
Anil Rawal, MD and CEO, IntelliSmart, emphasised the significance of adopting proactive measures in cybersecurity. “It is crucial that we consider how to ensure cyber safety and take proactive steps. We must not wait for a cyber security incident to occur before we act. This conference is one of the attempts to delve into this crucial topic and facilitate the exchange ideas on empowering Discoms to effectively tackle cyber threats.”
The first session, titled ‘Providing Discoms with Deeper Technical Know-how to Combat Cyber Threats,' brought out valuable insights from the distinguished panel of speakers, who stressed the importance of identifying risks, implementing effective controls to mitigate them, conducting periodic assessments of progress, and maintaining continuous monitoring.
The panel included chair of the session MAKP Singh, Member, CEA and CISO of Ministry of Power, Dr Muktesh Chander, former special commissioner of police, Delhi, K. Muralikrishna, ED Engineering and CISO, Grid Controller of India Ltd, Deen Dayal Toshniwal, DDG, Department of Telecommunications, Atul Bali, Director (NPMU), National Smart Grid Mission, Parswanathan Udayanan, Regional Head, Cyber Security, Google Cloud and Shailendra Kumar Singh, Principal Cloud Specialist (Security), Oracle.
The last session on ‘Innovation - Deploying New Technologies to Counter Cyber Threats; and Ensuring Compliance with the Cyber Security Measures Prescribed in the Standard Bidding Document (SBD) of RDSS’ was chaired by Faruk Kazi, Dean - Research, Development & Consultancy, VJTI, and the speakers included Richard Schomberg, IEC Ambassador for Smart Energy, Gautam Kumar, CTO, IntelliSmart, Kishor Narang, Founder, Narnix, SR Vijayan, Hitachi Energy India and Amit Chaudhary, Vice President, IP & Cyber Security, Airtel. In this session, the speakers discussed the importance of looking into device-level security, securing communication channels, identifying threat actors, and establishing standards to ensure the security of the whole ecosystem.