PJM Implements PKI Authentication
According to PJM, PJM has implemented Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication to its OASIS & ExSchedule application tools via both graphical user interface (GUI) and Command Line Interface (CLI) access, as well as other PJM Tools transfers via CLI. With this implementation, users need to provide a certificate along with their normal PJM credentials.
Used to authenticate users and devices, PKI is a technology commonly used in the digital world to add more security. The basic idea is to have one or more trusted parties digitally sign documents certifying that a particular cryptographic key belongs to a specific user or device and is safe to use. These documents are known as certificates. Most of the commonly asked questions about PKI are posted in the PKI FAQs document (PDF).
This change came as a result of an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Feb. 4, 2020, where an order was issued for public utilities to comply with the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) v3.2 of the Standards for Business Practices and Communication Protocols, which says to protect all OASIS transfers with certificate-based authentication (more information here).
PJM plans to leverage the same solution to other tools utilizing browser-less (CLI) transfers that are part of the single sign-on (SSO) function in order to make them more secure. As part of the Tools Security Roadmap, Single Sign On (SSO) System upgrades for PJM will go into production on August 24, 2021.
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