EV Charging Needs Security Boost

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 @ 05:08 PM gHale

The technology architecture associated with electric vehicle charging is continuing to evolve and one of the issues that keeps coming to the surface is cyber security.

Let’s face it, when it comes to securing financial transactions and end-to-end communications throughout the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that will catch the eye and ear of any executive in the energy sector.

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Cyber Security for Electric Vehicles

Cyber security as it relates to the electric vehicle movement will be the focus of increased utility investment in cyber security systems over the next several years, according to a report by industry analyst Pike Research.

The electric vehicle cyber security market will increase from $26 million in 2011 to $144 million by 2015, with a cumulative investment of $432 million during that period, according to the Pike report.

“Smart charging management will be the primary driver of expanded utility spending on EV cyber security,” said senior analyst Bob Lockhart.

“The IT and communications infrastructure supporting charging equipment will need to be resilient and secure in order to mitigate risks associated with financial transactions and the threat of hacking that is posed by the addition of these new endpoints,” he said.

“A malicious attack on the electric vehicle cyber infrastructure could potentially result in brownouts or stranded vehicles, and any failure in smart charging systems could strike a huge blow to utilities as well as consumer confidence in the reliability and viability of electric vehicles as a preferred mode of transportation,” Lockhart said.

In addition to their benefits for smart charging, electric vehicle cyber security systems will also serve to strengthen customer information management systems and enable new forms of data analytics that will be advantageous for utilities and end-users alike, the report said.

The electric vehicle cyber security market is still nascent and is somewhat hamstrung in the near term by the lack of security standards and binding regulation or legislation related to these issues, according to the report.

Lockhart said the lack of a common approach is likely to make security for electric vehicle infrastructure more expensive than it needs to be, and more complex, over the next several years.

Pike Research’s report, “Electric Vehicle Cyber Security,” presents an analysis of key cyber security risks for the charging infrastructures based upon three key security standards: ISO 27002:2005 for IT networks, NISTIR 7628 Volume 2 for Personal Data Privacy, and NIST 800-82 for ICS networks.



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