China's smart grid commitment to prompt SCADA boom, but cyber-attack fears remain


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China's intense focus on national smart grid development will drive massive revenue growth in the power Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems market in the coming years, says research and consulting firm GlobalData. The company's latest report predicts the Chinese SCADA market to soar in value in the coming years, from $3 billion in 2012 to $20 billion by 2020, climbing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27%. Such impressive expansion will result in the Asian nation increasing its share of the global market from 45% last year to 61% by the end of the decade, says GlobalData. SCADA is an industrial control system that is used to gather data from sensors and instruments located at remote sites and then transmit and display this data at a central site for control or monitoring purposes. It is also used to collect and analyze data in real time and are integral to smart grid networks. China's aim to become the world leader in smart grid technology will prove the key driving force in SCADA revenue growth, with the country's T&D infrastructure investments unmatched globally. However, as the reliance upon smart grid systems grows, the threat of cyber-attacks becomes ever more significant. According to the new report, developing effective security against threats such as the Stuxnet and Night Dragon attacks is the greatest challenge facing the global SCADA industry today. The use of malware and viruses is becoming increasingly common, raising the future risk of attacks on SCADA control centers. GlobalData