Don't Fear The Smart Meters

The Smarter Cities series is supported by IBM. Read more about building a smarter planet on the IBM A Smarter Planet Blog.


utilities smart grid electricity

The smart grid, and the accoutrements that come with–smart meters, smart appliances, etc.–are going to be big business.

How big? In the estimation of Cisco, it’s a $100 billion market opportunity. It’s going to be even bigger than the Internet, says Cisco. Like 100 or 1,000 times bigger.

And like the Internet, this radical upheaval is creating panic because it’s new.

In England, where new smart meters are being rolled out, security firms are warning the government they could be hacked, says the Telegraph. Ian Watts, of British data security firm Detica said he’s seen ” hacking of customer details, denial of service attacks and suspected infiltration by foreign intelligence services,” through smart meters.

Jeepers. It sure sounds scary. It also sounds familiar.

Just like when the Internet was in a nascent phase (just a few years ago) people were told not to put their personal information online, especially credit cards or banking information. The theory was that hackers could get your information and destroy your life.

Could they have? Of course! Did they? Not that often. Any hacker–that ominous, scary, but ultimately cliched character–can tap into your life online. However, we don’t live our lives in a perpetual state of fear. We have security measures in place to protect us online, and we act with common sense where we can.

Similarly, smart meters face challenges with security, but firms are working to limit these bugs, otherwise we wouldn’t ever see a single meter installed. Will there be attacks? Maybe. But, it’s important to remember that the dumb grid can be compromised as well.

Just like the Internet made our lives better, while creating new security challenges, so will smart meters. Would you ever turn down the Internet to stay a little more secure? Apply the same thinking to smart meters.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.