Resilient Time Synchronization for the Energy Sector: Evaluation of Mitigation Technologies

Wednesday | 9:00 - 9:20 am

As critical infrastructure end-users deploy more automated technologies in their applications, they will become increasingly reliant on time synchronization. These applications have different timing requirements and sensitivities, including mechanisms to enable time synchronization. Examples of widely used methods and technologies used to provide and distribute time synchronization data include U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s GLONASS, IEEE’s 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP), eLOng-Range Navigation (eLORAN) and others. But these technologies also introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities and timing uncertainties.

In order to address these issues, EPRI launched a Timing Security Assessment Supplemental project. EPRI worked closely with utility asset owners to identify specific time synchronization dependent devices used in the industry and to select applications that could demonstrate the downstream effects of cyber security attack exploits. EPRI, utility asset owners and experts in the industry created a test procedure and test environments at different laboratories to perform real time hardware in the loop (RT-HiL) testing.

EPRI has also launched a Technology Innovation (TI) funded interest group, the Resilient Time Synchronization for Energy Sector group that intends to create a virtual forum for stakeholders to share experiences, talk about tools and techniques and explore research topics while maintaining impartiality, independence, and vendor neutrality. EPRI provides this forum without charge as a service to the industry and to promote the importance of reliable time synchronization data in the energy sector.

This presentation will provide a discussion of the power applications under analysis as well as the mitigation technologies being considered for testing and evaluation as part of related EPRI activities.  

Authors: William Vesely, David Lawrence, Christopher Taylor