Smart grids are the hot topic of the day, and issues around their integrity are very important because of the critical dependence of modern societies on power Networks. Historically, this did not matter very much because the control networks for power grids were less automated and over private communication networks. Now however, as these control grids potentially share public networks, and at the same time as security issues are affected by non-state actors, it could well be that the success or failure of smart grids will depend heavily on whether they can be made sufficiently secure.
The article by Chen. et. al. provides an excellent overview of the challenges facing smart grids from a network security standpoint. In doing so, the article also gives a general overview of network security for non-experts. Attacks at the network structure level as well as at the protocol level are described, and countermeasures are discussed. The research models the interaction between the attacker and the defender as a two-player game, and uses this approach to evaluate the security of the entire network. This aspect may be of interest to some people, but the general description of the vulnerabilities and defences would be of interest to the general reader. This article further highlights new security concerns from co-existence and interaction between cyber and physical worlds, using smart grid as an example.