Arlington, VA., January 29, 2013 — The MultiSpeak Software Integration Initiative today released a new security standard for MultiSpeak, the widely used interoperability standard, to members of the initiative. The standard will be recommended for all products seeking MultiSpeak interoperability certification going forward.
The release of the new security standard, which conforms to the best practices set forth in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Interagency Report (NISTIR) 7628, will help cooperatives and other utilities improve data security and bolster reliability. The standard also ensures more consistent security for the array of automation and communication applications that are MultiSpeak interoperable going forward.
“As utilities, including cooperatives, seek to realize the benefits of smart grid technologies, their security needs change. This new standard allows utilities, along with their vendor partners in innovation, to modernize their operations without sacrificing security,” said Bob Saint, MultiSpeak program manager.
The standard implements four levels of security: no security for troubleshooting and initialization, as well as transport level security and two variations of message-level security for use in systems in operation. The utility chooses which level of security is most appropriate for each application in its own IT environment.
NRECA is submitting the security standard to the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) for review and inclusion in the SGIP Catalog of Standards (CoS). NRECA will also be developing a certification program to test compliance with the new standards.
The MultiSpeak Specification is an industry-wide software standard that facilitates interoperability of diverse business and automation applications used in electric utilities. It has been developed and maintained by a collaboration between the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and more than 150 software vendors, consultants and utilities who have joined the MultiSpeak Software Integration Initiative. More than 700 utilities in 19 countries are using the MultiSpeak interoperability standard. www.multispeak.org
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.