Smarter electric power systems

CYPRESS : Report D1.2 – Describing the relevant cyber-components, threats, and barriers

2022-03-21 16:43:32

This document is the second deliverable of the ”Cyber-Physical Risk of the bulk Electric Energy Supply System” (CYPRESS) project. The work presented in this document has been performed in the frame of the second task (T1.2) of the first work package WP1, titled ”Criteria and benchmarks for cyber-physical risk management ”. The objective of CYPRESS WP1 is to generalize and adapt the concepts currently used in the reliability management of electric power and energy systems so that they can correctly cover the cyber-threats from various systemwide control and communication layers.

Within this framework, Task 1.2 (T1.2) seeks at presenting the first steps of the cyber-physical risk assessment task, which will focus on modeling the cyber-part of the power grid following an adapted version of the NIST1 specifications. Indeed, this task is of particular importance when considering further work packages such as WP3 that should revisit the barriers that should be used to mitigate the risk of the threats mentioned in this document. First, T1.2 seeks to select relevant cyber-components that enable the operation of the power grid or that can directly/indirectly be used to harm its physical infrastructures. Then, T1.2 aims at providing a methodology for identifying and selecting the relevant threats and vulnerabilities in the cyber-space that could potentially lead to the disruption of the correct behavior of the power grid and its output. Finally, T1.2 provides preliminary proposals on a list of threats resulting from applying the aforementioned methodology as well as some countermeasures that could be used to prevent cyber-attacks resulting from the modeled threats.

The electrical grid is being operated directly/indirectly through a complex and constantly evolving cyber environment. In this context, the increasing number of devices and the speed at which new devices are introduced in the cyber-space leads to a very difficult process in identifying the components that interact in the cyber-part of the cyber-physical power grid. Chapter 2 provides a non-exhaustive list of traditional software and hardware components that constitutes the backbone of the cyber-part. In addition, it describes the various subsystems that these components are part of, the tasks that they perform, and part of their action space, i.e. the sensing and actuating actions that they can perform on the physical part of the system. Furthermore, the Cyber-Space as Services (CSaS) abstraction is defined to address the variability, heterogeneity, and scale of the power grid’s cyber-space. This model attempts to abstract the physical cyber-components of the system using the cyberservice (s) they provide to the physical part of the system.

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