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A Diversity-based Substation Cyber Defense Strategy utilizing Coloring Games.

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Md Touhiduzzaman (1), Adam Hahn (1), Anurag Srivastava (1) ((1) Washington State University)

Growing cybersecurity risks in the power grid require that utilitiesimplement a variety of security mechanism (SM) composed mostly of VPNs,firewalls, or other custom security components. While they provide someprotection, they might contain software vulnerabilities which can lead to acyber-attack. In this paper, the severity of a cyber-attack has been decreasedby employing a diverse set of SM that reduce repetition of a singlevulnerability. This paper focuses on the allocation of diverse SM and tries toincrease the security of the cyber assets located within the electronicsecurity perimeter(ESP) of a substation. We have used a graph-based coloringgame in a distributed manner to allocate diverse SM for protecting the cyberassets. The vulnerability assessment for power grid network is also analyzedusing this game theoretic method. An improved, diversified SMs for worst-casescenario has been demonstrated by reaching the Nash equilibrium of graphcoloring game. As a case study, we analyze the IEEE-14 and IEEE-118 bus system,observe the different distributed coloring algorithm for allocating diverse SMand calculating the overall network criticality.

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