From a strategic R&D viewpoint, a major challenge is posed by the lack of a unified mathematical framework with robust tools for modeling, simulation, control, and optimization of timecritical operations in smart electric power grids (spanning from fuel sources to end-use) as complex multi-component and multi-scaled networks. During the past four decades, much effort has been committed to better understanding the dynamics of large-scale power systems in order to enhance security, quality, reliability, and availability (SQRA) of the overall system. Specific attributes of SQRA are needed for electricity to meet the needs of the evolving digital society. This paper aims directly at the issue of metrics to determine security performance. It defines a framework for developing needed indices and standards for benchmarking security, quality, reliability, and availability in the future.