Cybersecurity of critical energy infrastructure

25-10-2019

The European Union (EU) has a high level of energy security, enabled by oil and gas reserve stocks, and one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. However, a number of established and emerging trends pose new challenges to the security of energy supply, notably in the electricity sector. The production, distribution and use of energy is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated, a trend which will further increase with the transformation towards a distributed carbon-neutral energy system and the growth of the 'internet of things', which means that more and more networked devices will be connected to the electricity grid. This provides increased opportunities for malicious actors to carry out attacks on the energy system, notably cyber-attacks, possibly in combination with physical damage and social engineering. It also increases the risk of inadvertent disruption. Hackers are becoming increasingly capable, and are already probing and exploiting vulnerabilities in the energy system, as a number of incidents outside the EU have demonstrated.

The European Union (EU) has a high level of energy security, enabled by oil and gas reserve stocks, and one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world. However, a number of established and emerging trends pose new challenges to the security of energy supply, notably in the electricity sector. The production, distribution and use of energy is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated, a trend which will further increase with the transformation towards a distributed carbon-neutral energy system and the growth of the 'internet of things', which means that more and more networked devices will be connected to the electricity grid. This provides increased opportunities for malicious actors to carry out attacks on the energy system, notably cyber-attacks, possibly in combination with physical damage and social engineering. It also increases the risk of inadvertent disruption. Hackers are becoming increasingly capable, and are already probing and exploiting vulnerabilities in the energy system, as a number of incidents outside the EU have demonstrated.