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Distributed Key Management in Microgrids

Security for smart industrial systems is prominent due to the proliferation of cyber threats threatening national critical infrastructures. Smart grid comes with intelligent applications that can utilize the bidirectional communication network among its entities. Microgrids are small-scale smart grids that enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications as they can operate with some degree of independence from the main grid. In addition to protecting critical microgrid applications, an underlying key management scheme is needed to enable secure M2M message transmission and authentication. Existing key management schemes are not adequate due to microgrid special features and requirements. We propose the Micro sElforgaNiSed mAnagement (MENSA), which is the first hybrid key management and authentication scheme that combines Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and Web-of-Trust concepts in microgrids. Our experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of MENSA in terms of scalability and swiftness.

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