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Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

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The Future of Log Management and Smart Grid Technology

With the many log formats involved with Smart Grid, many energy companies are searching for a way to centralize the collection of logs, regardless of data format. A centralized log management tool, such as LogLogic, is seen to be an ideal way to collect and correlate security events and make responding to security events more efficient.


“Down the road, we’re looking at instrumentation and monitoring of the various substations and the lines themselves, as well as home area networking with automated monitoring of major appliances, air conditioning, thermostat, etc.,” says an operations manager. “And if you figure four or five devices per Smart Meter, at that point we might be looking at 50 or 60 million plus devices on the network that need to be monitored and individually analyzed – so our data sets are growing rapidly.”


Establishing consistent standards for logging structure, formatting and event numbering is a common concern to all utilities and energy companies, and all agree that the process will take time. “It took healthcare decades to establish a standardized reporting architecture, and we’ll probably have to go through the same process,” says one security manager. “And it may even require some application of NERC CIP reporting requirements down to distribution to force that in some manner or other, but we’re nowhere near that far down the pike in the Smart Grid space.”


Smart Grid is still in its infancy, with a great deal of growth and change in its future. LogLogic and IT data management principles in general, are already helping companies to more efficiently handle security and operations events across their networks. With time, this is likely to increase as regulations and compliance initiatives increase, and energy organizations deploy Smart Grid initiatives throughout their organization.


If you’d like to learn how LogLogic helps St. Louis-based energy company Ameren get more visibility and control over its IT assets, please view this short video with Cyber Security Managing Supervisor Chris Sawall: http://youtu.be/0JmneuXrSyQ


 

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More Stories By Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.