Secure by design in renewables

24 July 2023

If you’re familiar with the term of “secure by design” - the principle of incorporating security measures into the design and architecture of a system from the very beginning – you’ll also likely be well aware of the flipside: what happens when your system isn’t secure by design. A case in point was highlighted in the media just last week – the renewable energy system Contec SolarView is used in over 30,000 power stations. And last month, it was hacked, with an exposed vulnerability exploited.

So far, the impact hasn’t been significant, but it highlights once again the danger of retrospective security, and shines a light on why so many companies are taking secure by design to heart:

Proactive Security

By implementing security measures during the design phase, vulnerabilities and potential risks can be identified and mitigated early on.

Secure by design means that security is actually PART of the system, rather than just an afterthought.  It’s also often more cost-effective, as you’re not having to retrofit and patch up later down the road.

Resilience to Attacks

Renewable energy systems, such as solar energy systems, are increasingly connected to the internet and integrated into the broader energy infrastructure.

The tech is great, and it’s helped us come on leaps and bounds, but it does come with a drawback – constant connectivity exposes them to potential cyber attacks

Secure by design means robust authentication mechanisms, encryption protocols, and secure communication channels from the outset, helping your system to be more resilient to attacks.

Protection of Sensitive Data

Renewable energy systems often collect and process sensitive data related to energy production, consumption, and user information.

Secure by design ensures that appropriate data protection measures, such as encryption, access controls, and secure storage, are implemented to safeguard the privacy and integrity of the data.

Long-Term Sustainability

Renewable energy systems have long lifecycles, typically spanning multiple years or even decades.

And as threats increase and evolve, it’s critical that your system is designed to combat them.

It’s for these reasons (and plenty more) that secure by design is gathering pace – it certainly could have helped prevent what’s happened with Contec SolarView.

And if you’re looking to ensure that your memory – the last medium that stores and interacts with systems and data activities – is secure by design, then we can help.  Nexus Industrial Memory  take the security of embedded systems very seriously and support design engineers in achieving that goal.  All of the memory products in our range are built with security in mind, so if you’re thinking about secure by design in your next embedded design, and you’d like a conversation about what options are available to you, drop us a message and we’ll be happy to jump on the phone and talk it through. We’ll also be showcasing our range of secure memory products on stand L18  at the Engineering Design Show on 11-12 October at the Ricoh Arena Coventry. 

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