Thursday, June 27, 2013

Smart Talk: Keep calm, smart meters not cause for cybersecurity alarm

How many smart meter hacking cases have been reported? Zero.  Not one of the 1,000 smart meters currently operating in Memphis and Shelby County were hacked. The same goes for the more than 37 million smart meters currently installed in the United States.

Is there a possibility? It’s very remote. Here’s why: customer data protection is a top priority. Smart meters transmit encrypted consumption data wirelessly to MLGW.  (Encryption is also used to protect data in transit on the Internet, by mobile devices and by ATM machines.) Meter manufacturers and the wireless communications network use proprietary meter and transmission protocols to defend against unauthorized data access.

Encryption is used at each step of the data transmission process: at the meter, during transit from the meter to the communications network and at MLGW. Meter-specific encrypted data is received through secure gateways at MLGW, where it is then matched with the customer’s profile.

It is virtually impossible to associate transmitted data to an individual customer prior to matching the data in our secure Customer Information System. Only after this data matching process is completed is the information provided on the web to the customer and used for billing and analysis.

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