PRESS RELEASE: EDSO and ENCS host Smart Grid Cyber Security event
|Making the tools of the energy transition safe for citizens and secure for providers. The tools are the data generated and needed by the smart grid system that will allow for the real evolution of electric services at the advantage of customers.
This was at the core of the discussions today in a high level technical workshop organised in Brussels by the European Distribution System Operators’ Association for Smart Grids (EDSO) and the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS), the Den Haag based leading technology center for the deployment of secure European critical energy grids and infrastructure.
Around 100 participants explored the growing challenges of smart grids cyber security and the increased responsibilities placed on electricity distribution system operators (DSOs). In response to these, EDSO and ENCS have agreed to jointly take active leadership in the sector, committing to together:
The event showed how the growing responsibilities of DSOs go hand-in-hand with the increased focus on consumers in the energy transition. Trends such as the increase of distributed generation and renewables, enhanced ICT capabilities for operation and management, changing dynamics inherent in the shift to decarbonised transport and the evolution of prosumers all make this transition difficult to navigate. While smart grids promise to help DSOs to meet these challenges, they also increase exposure to cyber security risks.
In line with their existing Memorandum of Understanding, EDSO and ENCS therefore decided to bring together cyber security experts to share the latest industry knowledge and present lessons from past attacks. The workshop focused on a solutions-based approach and tackling real-life threats recently experienced by members.
For example, Joachim Schneider, Chief Technology and Operations Officer of the Grid & Infrastructure of innogy SE presented EDSO’s proposals to facilitate the new roles of DSOs regarding use of novel technologies for grid purposes – with safe approaches to cybersecurity. Dr. Schneider, who is also Vice Chairman of EDSO and Chairman of its Technology Committee, highlighted the need to incorporate security by design. “Security has to be seen as important part of every smart grid project”, he added.
MEP Peter Kouroumbashev elaborated in his keynote speech on current legislative developments, for example the Cybersecurity Act and Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive. He called for stronger European cooperation in this regard. Specific consideration should be given to Critical Infrastructure, specifically operators of essential services that are subject to a variety of threats. This also means that the data they are processing must be well protected. He therefore insisted that operators of essential services should be excluded from the scope of the PSI Directive.
Other speakers included Stefan Moser – Head of Unit for Energy Security, DG ENER, European Commission; Laurent Schmitt – Secretary-General of ENTSO-E; Jan Peters – Vice President Public Affairs, Enexis; and Héjaïr Bouraoui – Compliance Manager Cyber Security, Enedis. There was agreement on the need to develop tools for customers to engage through DSOs with new products in a safe and reliable way.
Anjos Nijk, Managing Director, ENCS commented: “Smart grids create a host of opportunities for network operators, but unless we’re careful, the same will be true for hackers. Protecting our infrastructure and the people who use it will depend on openness and collaboration. Today has been a great example of that and we look forward to continuing to provide leadership to the sector in partnership with EDSO.”
Roberto Zangrandi, Secretary General of EDSO, underlined how cyber security and digital safety for stakeholders and citizens – not just for the industry – and digital ethics become a major responsibility for companies. “The challenge for all of us”, he said, “will be defining a socially responsible digitalisation in our sectors. Cybersecurity and hence the derived ‘digital safety’ be-come a new Civil Right for the citizens.”
About ENCS & EDSO
The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) is a non-profit organization that brings together critical infrastructure stakeholders and security experts to deploy secure European critical energy grids and infrastructure. Founded in 2012, ENCS has dedicated researchers and test specialists who work with members and partners on applied research, defining technical security requirements, component and end-to-end testing, as well as education & training. ENCS uses its network in academia, government and business to provide cyber security solutions and counsel dedicated to the needs of national Distribution System Operators (DSO), Transport System Operators (TSOs) and regulators. For more information about ENCS, please visit www.encs.eu
European Distribution System Operators for Smart Grids (EDSO) is a corporate-based European association that gathers 36 leading electricity distribution system operators (DSOs), including 2 associations, from 20 European countries. Through EDSO’s activities on electricity distribution-related technologies, policies and projects, its members cooperate to ensure the reliability of Europe’s electricity supply for customers and enable their active participation in the European power system. In short, EDSO is shaping smarter grids for your and Europe’s future. For more information about EDSO, please visit www.edsoforsmartgrids.eu/