ABI Research found that the move to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), including upgrading 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027, is prompting utilities and energy providers to review their digital security agendas and how manage their devices.
Digitizing traditional power grids and upgrading aging power infrastructure are among the top concerns of operators and governments around the world, the report says.
He says that security for last-mile power consumption applications was frequently overlooked.
ABI Research Senior IoT Cybersecurity Analyst Dimitrios Pavlakis says the introduction of AMIs, smart metering and network digitization is steadily increasing spending on secure management services.
He says this helps implementers transition to IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology) security services and helps address their core goals.
Pavlakis says these key goals include rationalizing commercial and consumer electricity consumption, meeting the need for increased industrial production, addressing the demand for real-time energy optimization services, assisting with the introduction of renewable sources and decentralized energy , and increase the security threshold for critical infrastructure in different countries.
“The name of the game is supervision, efficiency and safety when it comes to smart metering,” he says.
“The responsibilities of utilities and energy providers have increased significantly and are entering new, potentially uncharted territory.”
Pavlakis says utilities are trying to align with government regulations, enable new supply chain interactions with manufacturers to ensure device OEMs meet hardware and software security requirements for smart meters, and coordinate digital identity issuance and secure firmware installation.
He says that utilities must also consider the return on capital expenditures on long-term security investments and continue to serve their end customers while optimizing the transition to AMI services.
“The introduction of government regulations regarding the implementation, management and supervision in AMI is perhaps one of the most important predictors in IoT security services for electricity meters, forcing utility operators to review their strategies Pavlakis says.
“Identity issuance, device management, firmware over the air (FOTA), security intelligence and traffic control are among the top priorities for them. In addition, the focus on regional network management and introduction of thousands or millions of smart meter notices, utilities should invest in their local headend servers through hardware secure modules (HSMs) and security management platforms to mitigate some of the long-term cost.”
ABI Research says that the key players in the market include established smart metering and smart grid players like Landys+Gyr (with the help of its security arm Rhebo), HSM specialists like Utimaco, leading players in digital infrastructure, eSIM and HSM such as Thales, IoT communication module and connectivity providers such as Sierra Wireless and PKI, certification authorities such as Device Authority and Globalsign, and smart grid cybersecurity and risk management service providers such as OTORIO.
These findings come from ABI Research’s Electric Utilities IoT Security Services Application Analysis report. This report is part of the company’s IoT cybersecurity research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights.