DA/SA-301-2021: Security requirements for procuring RTUs and gateways [DRAFT]

This document gives security requirements that grid operators can use directly in their procurement documents for new remote terminal units (RTUs) and gateways for distribution automation and substation automation.

Grid operators are increasingly automating their medium voltage substations and lines with distribution automation and high voltage substation with substation automation. They use these systems to get power measurements to reliably integrate renewables and electric vehicles, and to remotely control the grid to recover from power outages more quickly.

The automation increases the possible impact of cyber-attacks. Many grid operators already have thousands of substations and lines automated. If attackers succeed in switching off power in a large part of those, it can take a lot of time to recover.

Making sure the distribution and substation automation systems are secure is hence critical. Grid operators need to set good security requirements when procuring RTUs and gateways. The requirements should not lead to excessive cost when procuring thousands of RTUs, while still ensuring all security risks can be mitigated.

This document provides a harmonized set of security requirements that grid operators use directly in their procurement documents. The requirements have been thoroughly reviewed by both grid operators and vendors. They are designed to fit into the processes and procedures already in place in the organizations, and to find a good balance between the security and the operational impact.

Harmonizing the requirements allows grid operators to more cost-effectively get secure automation equipment. It saves time and effort in developing requirements, as they are already freely available. It ensures the requirements are feasible, as they have been tested in a market survey, and in previous tenders by other operators. And it saves on implementation costs, as vendors get a common baseline to aim at. Grid operators are therefore encouraged to use these requirements when procuring new RTUs or gateways.

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