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Smart Grid Seminar: Offensive and Defensive Strategies in Smart Grid Cybersecurity - Mostafa Mohammadpourfard

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In this talk we will delve into the intricate world of cybersecurity within smart grid systems, focusing on both defensive and offensive methodologies. The smart grid, integral to modern power systems, faces unique challenges due to its complex network architecture and the integration of renewable energy sources. As these grids become increasingly digitized, the need for robust cybersecurity strategies becomes paramount. The lecture will begin by exploring the landscape of smart grid cybersecurity, highlighting the evolving nature of threats and the criticality of safeguarding these essential infrastructures. We will examine various defensive techniques, including advanced AI/ML algorithms, intrusion detection systems, and resilience planning, that are key to defending against cyber attacks. Shifting focus, we will also discuss the less-traveled path of offensive strategies in cybersecurity – a proactive approach. This includes penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, and the development of simulated attack scenarios to preemptively identify and address potential security breaches. Throughout the talk, we will emphasize the importance of a balanced approach that integrates both offensive and defensive tactics, ensuring a comprehensive security posture. The goal is to provide insights into how these strategies can be effectively implemented to protect smart grids against the ever-growing range of cyber threats.


Dr. Mostafa Mohammadpourfard specializes in Grid Cybersecurity, a multidisciplinary field he pursued jointly at Shiraz University and Arizona State University, completing his doctorate in 2018. He is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at ASU, focusing primarily on cybersecurity and AI/ML applications in smart grids. His diverse academic journey includes roles such as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, the most prestigious research fellowship in Europe, and an Assistant Professor. These positions have underpinned his expertise in both academic and industry-oriented research. With a focus on AI-based smart grid security, he has authored over 26 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals and conferences, establishing himself as a key contributor in this field. His proficiency in securing research funding is highlighted by grants totaling $156K from the European Commission and $40K from a distribution company for cybersecurity and AI research in power systems. He has served as a reviewer for prestigious journals such as IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Trans. on Industrial Informatics, and IEEE Trans. on Smart Grid. His commitment to the broader academic and industrial community is further exemplified through his participation as a speaker, delivering lectures and workshops at institutions and events, including Stanford University, McGill University, and Uppsala University, focusing on the intersection of smart grids, cybersecurity, and machine learning.

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