Safe and Secure Software-Defined Networks for Smart Electricity Substations

  • Filip HolikEmail author
  • Matthew Broadbent
  • Mislav Findrik
  • Paul Smith
  • Nicholas Race
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1178)


The next generation of smart electricity substations and grids are on the horizon. Part of the drive behind this movement is a need to improve safety and security. In parallel, software-defined networking has been proposed as a disruptive approach when deployed in these environments, presenting the opportunity to deploy novel functionality alongside existing forwarding behaviour. The benefits of software-defined networking are clear. Yet, if this technology is deployed without due care and attention, then it has the potential to reduce the safety and security of energy systems. In this paper we identify the aspects that must be considered to maintain the stringent requirements imposed by substation networks. With these as a basis, we provide recommendations for the successful deployment of software-defined networking technologies in these environments. We then demonstrate how additional functionality can be brought to the network without violating these requirements.


ACL Electricity substation Safety and security requirements SDN Smart Grid 


  1. 1.
    IEC 61850–5: Communication networks and systems in substation, Geneva, Switzerland (2003).
  2. 2.
    IEC TC57 WG15: IEC 62351 Security Standards for the Power system Information Infrastructure (2016).
  3. 3.
    Al-Rubaye, S., Kadhum, E., Ni, Q., Anpalagan, A.: Industrial internet of things driven by SDN platform for smart grid resiliency. IEEE Internet Things J. 6(1), 267–277 (2019). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cokic, M., Seskar, I.: Analysis of TCP traffic in smart grid using SDN based QoS. In: 2018 26th Telecommunications Forum (TELFOR), pp. 1–4, November 2018.
  5. 5.
    Dorsch, N., Kurtz, F., Georg, H., Hägerling, C., Wietfeld, C.: Software-defined networking for smart grid communications: applications, challenges and advantages. In: 2014 IEEE International Conference on Smart Grid Communications (SmartGridComm), pp. 422–427, November 2014.
  6. 6.
    Fang, S., Yu, Y., Foh, C.H., Aung, K.M.M.: A loss-free multipathing solution for data center network using software-defined networking approach. IEEE Trans. Magn. 49(6), 2723–2730 (2013). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Genge, B., Graur, F., Haller, P.: Experimental assessment of network design approaches for protecting industrial control systems. Int. J. Crit. Infrastruct. Prot. 11(C), 24–38 (2015). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Heller, B., Sherwood, R., McKeown, N.: The controller placement problem. In: Proceedings of the First Workshop on Hot Topics in Software Defined Networks, HotSDN 2012, pp. 7–12. ACM, New York (2012).
  9. 9.
    Huang, Y.Y., Lee, M.W., Fan-Chiang, T.Y., Huang, X., Hsu, C.H.: Minimizing flow initialization latency in software defined networks. In: 2015 17th Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium (APNOMS), pp. 303–308, August 2015.
  10. 10.
    Lee, R.M., Assante, M.J., Conway, T.: Analysis of the cyber attack on the Ukrainian power grid (2016).
  11. 11.
    Rehmani, M.H., Akhtar, F., Davy, A., Jennings, B.: Achieving resilience in SDN-based smart grid: a multi-armed bandit approach. In: 2018 4th IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization and Workshops (NetSoft), pp. 366–371, June 2018.
  12. 12.
    Sydney, A., Ochs, D.S., Scoglio, C., Gruenbacher, D., Miller, R.: Using GENI for experimental evaluation of software defined networking in smart grids. Comput. Netw. 63, 5–16 (2014). Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zillgith, M.: libIEC61850 - open source library for IEC 61850 (2016).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Electrical Engineering and InformaticsUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzechia
  2. 2.School of Computing and CommunicationsLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  3. 3.AIT Austria Institute of TechnologyViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations