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The cyber-physical nature of the smart grid has rendered it vulnerable to a multitude of attacks that can occur at its communication, networking, and physical entry points. Such cyber-physical attacks can have detrimental effects on the operation of the grid as exemplified by the recent attack which caused a blackout of the Ukranian power grid. Thus, to properly secure the smart grid, it is of utmost importance to: a) understand its underlying vulnerabilities and associated threats, b) quantify their effects, and c) devise appropriate security solutions. In this paper, the key threats targeting the smart grid are first exposed while assessing their effects on the operation and stability of the grid. Then, the challenges involved in understanding these attacks and devising defense strategies against them are identified. Potential solution approaches that can help mitigate these threats are then discussed. Last, a number of mathematical tools that can help in analyzing and implementing security solutions are introduced. As such, this paper will provide the first comprehensive overview on smart grid security.



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