Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cyber Operations


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth M. Hopkinson, PhD


This thesis investigates security mechanisms for utility control and protection networks using IP-based protocol interaction. It proposes flexible, cost-effective solutions in strategic locations to protect transitioning legacy and full IP-standards architectures. It also demonstrates how operational signatures can be defined to enact organizationally-unique standard operating procedures for zero failure in environments with varying levels of uncertainty and trust. The research evaluates layering encryption, authentication, traffic filtering, content checks, and event correlation mechanisms over time-critical primary and backup control/protection signaling to prevent disruption by internal and external malicious activity or errors. Finally, it shows how a regional/national implementation can protect private communities of interest and foster a mix of both centralized and distributed emergency prediction, mitigation, detection, and response with secure, automatic peer-to-peer notifications that share situational awareness across control, transmission, and reliability boundaries and prevent wide-spread, catastrophic power outages.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number