PowerOps in the H2020 DEFENDER project

Project full name: Defending the European Energy Infrastructures
Project ID: 740898
Project URL: http://www.defender-project.eu/

Critical Energy infrastructures (CEI) protection and security are becoming of utmost importance in our everyday life. However, cyber and system- theoretic approaches fail to provide appropriate security levels to CEIs, since they are often used in isolation and build on incomplete attack models, resulting in silos-like security management fragmented operational policies. To face these challenges, DEFENDER will:

  1. model CEIs as distributed Cyber-Physical Systems for managing the potential reciprocal effects of cyber and physical threats;
  2. deploy a novel security governance model, which leverages on lifecycle assessment for cost-effective security management over the time;
  3. bring people at centre stage by empowering them as virtual sensors for threat detection, as first level emergency responders to attacks, or by considering workforce as potential threats.

DEFENDER will adapt, integrate, upscale and validate a number of technologies and deploy them within a more mature, integrated yet adaptable framework for CEI security, resilience and self-healing “by design”, with a view to address, detect, and mitigate cyber- physical threats. To this aim DEFENDER framework will combine a range of devices/technologies for:

  1. situational awareness (fixed sensors like PMUs, mobile devices like drones and advanced video surveillance);
  2. intelligent processing for cyber-physical threat detection with (iii) a toolbox for incident mitigation and emergency response;
  3. Human-In-The-Loop for managing people interaction with CEI, while leveraging on blockchain technology for peer-to-peer trustworthiness.

The effectiveness of DEFENDER will be extensively validated on a CEI lab emulator and on 4 real life demonstrators fully covering the overall energy value chain, ranging from a nuclear generation plant, to a decentralized RES generation one, a TSO HV network, to a DSO network and a business prosumer.

In the context of DEFENDER, PowerOps will work on the delivery of a trusted, bidirectional communications infrastructure, where Human in the Loop inputs will be securely and privately stored in the blockchain; with the help of smart contracts, only the verified Utilities will have access to this information. In this way, privacy and security will be enforced through our security and privacy-preserving services.