The SIDATE project focuses on the technical support of small and medium sized energy grid operators. It aims to support these operators by providing concepts and tools for self-assessment and improvement of IT-security. SIDATE is a joint project by the University of Siegen, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, TÜV Rheinland i-sec GmbH, regio iT gesellschaft für informationstechnologie mbh and Arbeitsgemeinschaft für sparsame Energie- und Wasserverwendung (ASEW). The Project is funded as part of the program for IT-Security in critical infrastructures of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) from August 2015 to July 2018.
A working energy infrastructure is fundamental for almost all aspects of modern life. The protection of this infrastructure is therefor central to the public interest. In order to guarantee a secure and sustainable energy supply, more and more IT-systems are used as part of the energy infrastructure. These IT-systems are changing continuously in response to factors like the adoption of smart grids and renewable energy. Hence the energy infrastructure is prone to cyber-attacks and its protection is big and growing challenge. As operators of these energy networks are part of the private sector in most cases, they are confronted with the dual challenge of protecting their networks in a way that is both effective in and economic. The goal of the project is to provide solutions for this challenge.
Goals and Approach
In the SIDATE Project, tools and concepts are developed, which allow better self-assessment of the current security level of an energy network and help improving security in small and medium sized energy network operators. The tools and concepts should be usable in practice and independent of the specific economic, organizational and personnel structure of the energy network operator. New IT-security metrics, a description language for describing the energy infrastructure and its components, a knowledge-base and a community platform are developed. Small and medium size energy network operators are involved in the development of these tools and concepts throughout the whole project.
Innovation and Perspectives
The SIDATE project represents a novel approach due to its focus on tools and concepts custom tailored to small and medium sized energy grid operators and the focus on self-assessment. Using the tools, operators can determine if the regulatory requirements for IT-security and the protection of critical infrastructure are met. The tools developed in the SIDATE project allows this self-assessment to be faster and more reliable then previously. The effective and economic implementation of these requirements can be evaluated using best practice collections. The tools will also be adopted for water system operators in the medium term.