• An open framework for low-latency communications across the smart grid network

      Sturm, John Andrew (2012-05-21)
      The recent White House (2011) policy paper for the Smart Grid that was released on June 13, 2011, A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future, defines four major problems to be solved and the one that is addressed in this dissertation is Securing the Grid. Securing the Grid is referred to as one of the four pillars to be built on an open technology framework. The problem of securing the grid is further defined that cybersecurity practices must provide the special, low-latency communications needed for real-time automation control (White House, 2011, p. 49). The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is tasked with development of the cybersecurity communication standards through establishment of the NIST Cybersecurity Working Group (CSWG). NIST CSWG further states that low-latency is critical for automation control on the Smart Grid (NISTIR-Vol.3, 2010). The research and experimental planning for the solution tested in this dissertation provide low-latency through a system of open protocols that include HMAC keys (Hashed Message Authentication Code) and cryptographic identification for real-time control across the Smart Grid. It is serendipitous that HMAC keys (Hashed Message Authentication Code) can be processed very fast so there is little delay/latency added to the overall file transfer process (Goutis et al, 2005). In addition the research results offer guidance on the additional latency of AES versus Blowfish encryption algorithms for file transfers.