Digital ghosts might be the answer to certain IoT security issues. For the past two years, GE has been working on the concept of digital ghosts, which by the way, differs from digital twins. Digital ghosts essentially create a virtual control system that models a real-world control system, and then identify attacks based on anomalies of how machines and devices act. The GE digital ghost program can determine when a sensor is being tricked, which is a critical capability in any industrial or defense system. The following article explains the concept in detail and references other use cases as well.
GE said it plans to make its digital ghost technology commercial available in late 2019 and expand it into oil and gas and renewable energy industries.
Launched in 2017 out of GE’s research unit, digital ghost is a security spin on digital twin technology. Where the digital twin replicates physical equipment virtually for predictive maintenance and other use cases, digital ghost is a virtual version of control systems in industrial ethnology that can find attacks based on anomalies in how the machine is operating.
Digital ghost technology, which in theory is an “invisible presence” that watches over and monitors every part of a power system, has been in development with the U.S. Department of Energy. In October, GE said the Department of Energy awarded it a $12.6 million contractto develop cyber-protection technologies that will act like the immune system in the human body. Digital ghost is a part of that contract.