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VAC: A Software Approach to Resilient SCADA Automation...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
2022 IEEE Power & Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference (ISGT)
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 5
Publisher Location
Piscataway, New Jersey, United States of America
Conference Name
Innovative Smart Grid Technologies 2022 (ISGT)
Conference Location
Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
IEEE Power and Energy Security
Conference Date

To better secure critical infrastructure, especially power systems, this paper introduces a virtual SCADA automation controller. The automation controller is a gateway into a power subsystem, making it a valuable target for cyber-attacks that could cut it off from the control center and cause a loss of view and control. To prevent this, the Virtual Automation Controller (VAC) is a backup device that mirrors the capabilities of the physical controller. It can communicate via Modbus and DNP3 and is containerized so it can be deployed on a variety of platforms. Furthermore, it utilizes software-defined networking to quickly disconnect a failed automation controller and preserve its state for forensics. The VAC gives system operators time to replace the failed controller and prevents dangerous and costly damage to power systems. The VAC is compared against the SEL 3505-3 RTAC and shown to have the necessary features to act as a failover controller.