Investment in Smart Grid cyber security is expected to hit $14bn by 2018 according to a new report.

But analysts at Pike Research say that while utilities are planning Smart Grid deployments at a greater pace than ever before, “cyber security is still way behind the attackers”.

“Cyber security remains a check-the-box exercise for many utilities, with spending limited to whatever is needed to survive compliance audits,” said Pike senior analyst Bob Lockhart.

Lockhart added that control system security has begun to receive the attention it deserves as a critical element of grid stability. As utilities’ operations teams have become savvier about security, the likelihood that IT security solutions will be considered as immediate fits for control systems, without modification, has lessened.

Smart grid technology companies are now proactively seeking out security vendors for assistance in building cyber security into their products. As a result, Pike predicts that 63% of smart grid cyber security investment through 2018 will be focused on utility control system segments.

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