On Digitalized Electrical Energy Systems: Emerging Cyber Security Threats and Mitigations

Dr. Paul Smith | December 5, 2017 | 14.00 p.m. | E.1.42


To enable the increased integration of renewable energy sources and the creation of new energy services, our electrical energy systems are being digitalized (i.e., we are creating the so-called smart grid). This digitalization has many potential benefits, but it also introduces new cyber security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. In this talk, we will look at a relatively new form of threat that uses advanced attack techniques to achieve a malicious goal, which results in disruption to power supply. The most notable example of this form of threat took place in the Ukraine in December 2015. Having looked at this threat, the talk will continue by giving an overview of a number of solutions that were developed in the EU-funded SPARKS project (https://project-sparks.eu). The talk will conclude with a discussion on future research directions.


Dr. Paul Smith is a Senior Scientist in the Center for Digital Safety and Security at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology.
He received his PhD in Computing from Lancaster University, UK in September 2003. Paul’s research is targeted at developing applied solutions to ensuring the security and resilience of critical information infrastructures. More specifically, in recent years, his researched has focused on securing future digitalized energy systems. Solutions have focused on approaches to risk management, anomaly detection, secure architecture specification, incident response, and resilience measurement. For each of these, his interests lie in understanding cyber-physical aspects of security and resilience. He has participated in a number of international research projects in this area, and has published articles on various aspects that relate to this core interest.

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