A new report has been published on cyber security in the energy sector. The report identifies areas where action should be taken to improve cyber security and manage risks for energy infrastructure.
The new report identifies strategic challenges and specific needs for cyber security in the energy sector in four key areas: management of risks and threats, cyber defence, cyber resilience, and the capacity and competences needed to take action. It proposes that the European Commission should analyse potential threats to cyber security within the EU and how to combat them, and also encourage EU energy regions to cooperate and share information about cyber security risks. The report also suggests that the Commission should set up a cyber response framework for the energy sector, in order to be prepared for potential attacks, and take measures to improve the resilience of energy infrastructure to possible security breaches.
Digital technologies play an increasingly important role in energy infrastructure and are used to control energy production, transmit information about consumption, and monitor demand. This means, however, that the energy sector is more at risk of cyber threats: potential attacks on the computer systems used for these purposes. Moreover, electricity grids and gas transport pipelines are interconnected across Europe. Therefore it is very important that energy infrastructure is protected from possible security breaches and cyber attacks that could result in information theft, security issues and blackouts across several European regions.
The report was prepared by the European Commission's Energy Expert Cyber Security Platform (EECSP) Expert Group which gives guidance to the Commission on infrastructural issues, security of supply, smart grids technologies and nuclear energy.