RESEARCH IN CYBERSECURITY TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF A SAFER ELECTRICAL GRID
The main objective of this project is the increase of the degree of security in the Electrical Grid, for that, therefore, the investigation of new technologies for the prevention and detection of cyber-attacks will be required. In order to carry out this objective, new knowledge in the field of cybersecurity will be researched and developed to allow:
- Derect possible cyber-attacks before they occur through non-intrusive listening and real-time data analysis (stream analytics and machine learning) techniques.
- Increase the defense of systems and electronic equipment deployed in substations and transformation centers by developing new encryption and authentication algorithms that will make them more resilient while meeting the response time requirements.
- Protect legacy systems and equipment whose capabilities do not support the deployment of such security measures.
- Assess the security of all or part of the smart grid in real time, through dynamic means of evaluating systems and devices in real time.
Thanks to the information and communication technologies (TIC’s), the electrical grid is starting to be smarter while improving its reliability, safety and efficiency. But at the same time, the vulnerabilities of communications networks and information systems are being used to commit cyber-attacks on generation plants, distribution areas, or on consumers.
On the other hand, the solutions adopted in the IT world, or even in the industrial sector, are not totally transferable to the energy sector. In contrast to these environments, where confidentiality and integrity of information are paramount, the maintenance of the service in this sector must prevail even if it leads to the loss of information or even to void certain security measures. In addition, countermeasures used the financial or industrial sectors, like some encryption algorithms, with great computation times, cannot be applied in the smart grid due to the strict requirements imposed to the field electronic devices.
The following are the main expected results of the project:
- A reference architecture and a model for deploying cybersecurity in the Smart Grid.
- Non-intrusive data traffic analysis algorithms based on stream analytics techniques
- Algorithms for detection of known and zero-day attacks in real time, based on data analytics and machine learning techniques.
- Encryption algorithms that meet the response time and availability of service requirements imposed to the field electronic devices.
- New protection solutions to legacy systems and communication protocols through new hardware or embedded systems.
- A smart grid cybersecurity assessment system for assessing the security level of grid in real time.
The project is funded by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI), dependent on the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, within CIEN strategic program (project reference: IDI-20170939)