What struck me as an absolutely fantastic illustration of what the Smart Grid security landscape looks like today was a slide that Ido Dubrawsky of Itron sent me (and gave Bobby Brown of EnerNex credit for):
This one slide really says it all for me, and completely illustrates my goal for creating this conference. The people I have been working with in the NIST, OpenSG, and DHS groups for the last year are indeed (by and large) luminaries in the world of Smart Grid security. Everyone acknowledges that there are issues to deal with, and we are well above "The Trough" and are rapidly moving along the path of true productivity in addressing security. Have we "solved" the security problems of the Smart Grid...no.
Will we ever "solve" the problem?
Well, this is like asking the question "Will we ever solve the problem of obesity?".
There is an easy way to solve the obesity problem. Simply stop eating. Of course the problem with that solution is that it tends to lead to bigger problems. However, we have discovered that putting a little thought into what we eat, and combining it with some other good practices, tends to lead to a pretty darn good quality of life and avoids obesity (I am not a good example of this, but I am working on it). If you find yourself not quite understanding how to tackle this problem, there are plenty of people out there to help you.
The same holds true for Smart Grid security. It is an ongoing issue that comes about as the result of an idea to implement a system which will ultimately serve to address some major energy issues throughout the world, and ultimately improve our quality of life. It is not being ignored, and if want to know more about what is being done to address the issues, the answers are out there.
I hope some of you can make it to my conference.