Communications Performance and Security<br>– G3-PLC and OSGP – The best of both worlds

Communications Performance and Security
– G3-PLC and OSGP – The best of both worlds

Sep 17, 2020
How often have you considered turning off your virus scanner when your laptop is running slow? The reality is that security is often a casualty of the drive for performance. And the same is true in reserve – adding layers of security will generally reduce performance. Systems which present us with the choice are both unfair and dangerous. If we turn the virus scanner off so our application runs a bit faster, we might forget to turn it back on again. That is a common mechanism for the cyber-criminal to access what might be a normally secure system.

In smart meter communications, the same is true. Some protocols allow layers of security to be turned off in order to maximize communications throughput.

The OSGP (Open Smart Grid Protocol) has been designed, from inception, to be highly efficient and secure. As a result of this efficiency, it is simply not necessary to turn security off, and so, that option is not even presented to the user. Instead, typical benchmarks of around 99.7% successful communications are achieved with all security layers enabled. This includes a number of unique threat detection mechanisms, allowing the user to identify suspicious activity before an orchestrated cyber-attack is launched – a bit like outside motion-sensitive lighting and a burglar alarm combined into one.

NES is unique in the smart meter industry in its combination of G3-PLC, one of the leading PLC communications standards, with OSGP. This combines the already highly efficient and secure OSGP protocol with the highly performant G3-PLC communications standard. For more information about NES and its implementation of OSGP and G3-PLC visit

Jon Wells - Vice President of Customer Solutions at NES