Dealing with Your Smart Grid Insecurities

Presented By:
Jeffrey S. Katz, Chief Technology Officer, Energy and Utilities industry at IBM
Date and Location:
Friday, May 6, 2011 - 1:00pm
NCSA Auditorium | Webcast
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  • Slide archives are not available for this presentation.


The Smart Grid is too geographically disperse and complex to be secured with just a perimeter defense. Good practice is to examine security in the smart grid architecture, to consider both organic and external threats, to look at the software supply chain, and to reduce inherent vulnerability as a defensive posture, rather than just an active offense. This talk will discuss smart grid security issues based on a leadership position in smart grid projects worldwide. Design principles will be discussed from a practical process point of view. Emphasis will be placed on real-world awareness from a utility perspective. Some of the potential solutions will be reviewed, from employing concepts from the IT world in the cyber-physical systems of the smart grid, through use of specialized appliances that enhance security and interoperability, and to application of wide area event detection that could help ‘connect the dots’ on non-obvious security issues.


Jeffrey S. Katz is the Chief Technology Officer of the Energy and Utilities industry at IBM. He is involved with the application, development, and innovation of IBM products, services, technology and research for electric power companies and related organizations. Jeff has contributed to the industry’s framework, Solution Architecture For Energy (SAFE), the industry group’s strategic growth case, the IBM Innovation Jam workshops, the IBM Intelligent Utility Network initiative, and is the primary industry liaison with IBM Research. He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He led the IBM internal Innovation Jam brainstorming project for Nuclear Power and was an invited speaker to the IBM European Sector Technical Institute, the follow-on Energy and Utilities University, and the Technical Leadership Exchange. He has presented on behalf of IBM at many industry conferences, including the international Conference of the Electric Power Supply Industry and the Department of Energy’s Grid Wise Grid Inter-Op. He was an invited speaker to the Fourth Annual Carnegie Mellon University Conference on the Electricity Industry and to the inaugural Yale Alumni in Energy conference, and is a co-chair of the IEEE P2030 Smart Grid Interoperability Guidelines IT Task Force. Recently he has presented in several forums on Smart Grid Security, including Grid Week and at a panel convened by the federal Government Accountability Office and the National Academy of Sciences.

Prior to IBM, Jeff was the Manager of the Computer Science department at the U.S. Corporate Research Center of ABB, and then of ALSTOM. Before that he was with ABB Power Generation, managing development of computer systems for nuclear and fossil power plants. He has extensive experience in research and development, computerization of power generation systems, real-time computing, computer systems, electronic communications, process control systems, and computer based enterprise engineering tools, scientific computing, and robotics.

Jeff is an author on six patents, in tele-medicine, robotics and computer vision, and intelligent electric power distribution. He has a Commercial General Radiotelephone license from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. He is a member of IEEE and Sigma Xi.

Jeff has organized or taught several volunteer activities around robotics for education, including FIRST and FIRST Lego League. Jeff is also a long time amateur (ham) radio operator. He was a Region 1 finalist in the Johns Hopkins National Search for Computing Applications to Assist Persons with Disabilities.

Seminar Status:
About the TCIPG Seminar Series:

The seminar series is presented by the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Project, an $18 million multi-university research effort whose partner institutions include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State University, Dartmouth, and Washington State University. The TCIPG Project, a successor to the earlier NSF-funded TCIP Center, was founded in 2009 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is housed in the Information Trust Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.