Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Synesthesia-Inspired to Safeguards Critical Electric Infrastructure

Peter Fuhr, a Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), got the idea to use a continually shifting colour palette to ward off cyberattacks on the nation’s critical electric grid infrastructure from the fascinating psychological phenomena known as synesthesia. Grid management software language was encrypted into colours using the idea of synesthesia, where people perceive one sense via another.

The Leader of ORNL’s Grid Communications and Security group Utilities employed computers for real-time data analysis and equipment control. These systems communicate with the hardware using strings of letters. Fuhr’s technique converted these alphabetic characters into colour schemes represented by bars, wheels, or swirls. Other visual elements, such as pointillist paintings or video frames, mask the colour compositions. Following the Fibonacci Sequence, the decoding key constantly evolves in response to new sensor readings.

According to Fuhr, several private companies have already indicated they are interested in licencing this novel technique. The idea was tested in the field for six months when a safe connection was established between ORNL and the public utility. Then, the encoded colours were transferred among the video cameras at EPB’s electricity substations employing the communication links between the devices.

Fuhr noted that this strategy adds a layer of complexity for attackers because the colour-coded information does not transit through the information technology (IT) network or the operating network. In addition, the colour-coded data is only shown for a brief period, which makes it subliminal to the conscious mind.

An adversary would have to find the colour bar, be familiar with the equipment’s protocol language and the sensor’s IP address, and correctly guess the correct colour-letter combination at the appropriate position in the Fibonacci sequence to break the colour code.

Because tampering with equipment at a substation from a remote location can quickly destabilise the power supply, such layered defences are necessary for utilities. However, concerns have been raised because of the rising number of attacks and suspicious activity reports at nationwide substations. The situation has prompted utilities and elected authorities to prioritise implementing cybersecurity measures.

Utilities need a toolbox filled with various methods for ensuring their networks are secure. Fuhr’s innovation could be used with several other security coding techniques regardless of the mode of communication. Fuhr’s approach can improve utilities’ data security, making it extremely difficult for interceptors to access the information and increasing the level of data protection.

As the power grid becomes more networked and digitalised, cybersecurity in the context of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and the smart grid is becoming increasingly important. As the number of electric cars (EVs) on American roads continues to rise, charging stations have sprung up around the U.S.

In the Vehicle Technologies Office of the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, located at Argonne National Laboratory, scientists have designed a foolproof system for intelligent charging. The project is a four-year, US$5 million joint effort between Argonne and the largest electricity provider in the country.

Intelligent charging systems link to the power grid and take energy when demand is low, then give it back when needed. Electric vehicles (EVs) can help maintain grid stability and be charged on demand thanks to computer networks.

Smart charging stations should give more than just a cluster of plugs and cables. Instead, wireless networking, hard drives, and input devices are standard in these stations. As a result, they need to be shielded from online assaults. Due to the possibility of cyberattacks, Internet-connected vehicle chargers need to implement the same safety measures as other Internet-connected devices.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.