Smart Grid Forum’s Cybersecurity 2020 Conference


As the grid modernises, the design of utility cybersecurity solutions need to be rethought to defend against the evolving capabilities of potential attackers. A huge difficulty lies in the selection process of available technologies. This comes with the bigger challenges of implementing and operating these new technologies to harmonise with existing internal utility services. As a result, Smart Grid Forum’s Smart Grid Cybersecurity 2020 conference has been created to solve the strategic, application, implementation, and configuration issues in the face of the new emerging threats and challenges

As digitisation, DER integration and cloud solutions are rolled out across the network, the vulnerability of the network is increasing exponentially. Associated cybersecurity risk becomes a bigger priority with more access points for malicious threat actors. The IEC have taken this issue into their own hands with the ongoing development of the IEC 62351. This aims to provide holistic guidelines to manage cybersecurity risks associated with communication protocols. The standard advises a variety of approaches to comprehensively safeguard smart grid systems, including encryption and role-based access control as well as established IT security technology such as VPNs and firewalls. Optimal implementation of this crucial standard will be clarified at Smart Grid Cybersecurity 2020.

“Having spoken to a number of European TSOs and DSOs during our research, it has become apparent that there is a large disparity between the level of cybersecurity robustness currently deployed, and what is required to protect the grid,” says Smart Grid Cybersecurity conference producer Oliver Crabtree. “Utilities are attempting to stay on top of developments and ensure their systems are secure against the latest threats, however the moving target of cybersecurity resilience means that a number of utilities are in danger of falling behind. A huge range of vendor solutions have been developed with aim to improve cybersecurity of IT and OT systems. However the staggering variety of options and myriad of compatibility issues mean guidance is often essential when designing your cybersecurity solution.”

It is clear that the best cybersecurity strategy is one that is up-to-date and that provides comprehensive coverage against all kinds of threat actors. Utilities must therefore find out about the latest developments from industry leaders and ensure that they aren’t leaving themselves open to attacks. This forum provides an opportunity to do just that, seeking to elucidate the current challenges and provide a venue whereby security solutions that are being implemented can be presented and discussed.

To enable the industry to overcome these challenges, Smart Grid Cybersecurity 2020 will showcase 14+ utility grid operator use cases through an in-depth and meticulously researched programme. They will outline their implementation success that attendees can take back to implement in their own organisation. Alongside this, the high-level CISO panel will ensure attendees gain a thorough understanding of the challenges CISOs are looking to solve, as well as vital information on supplier relationship management to ensure security by design in future smart grid solutions.

Attendees will gain unique insights into the factors influencing their choice of cybersecurity solutions and the steps they took to ensure collaboration between specialists from the OT and IT fields. You will learn about the technical, organisational, and cultural barriers to achieving robust end-to-end cybersecurity, and how to overcome these. Alongside the technical information presented, the conference will bring together a carefully curated gathering of the most innovative, cutting-edge vendors as identified in our research. Attendees will be able to assess the most suitable solutions to their needs which are currently on the market and start to further enhance their cybersecurity resilience.

Discussion topics include:

Enhancing internal processes

  • Utility Panel: Role and Responsibility of CISO: Elevating the role of the CISO and prioritising the areas for their attention to achieve the biggest cybersecurity impact and return on investment
  • Risk Management: Integrating internal risk management with external collaboration to achieve a superior cybersecurity defence solution
  • Digitisation: Developing a combined cyber and physical security strategy to better protect the ever- increasing attack surface as smart utilities adopt more digital processes
  • IT OT Convergence: Progressing IT OT convergence through new organisational structures that support closer collaboration between IT and OT colleagues to achieve seamless cybersecurity
  • Remote Access Management: Identifying the shift in cybersecurity risk associated with remote access management and developing an advanced cybersecurity strategy to mitigate this
  • Supplier Relationship Management: Collaborating with suppliers to utilise their technical expertise whilst developing cost effective futureproofed solutions that are fit for smart utilities

Exceeding regulation and standards compliance

  • Implementing IEC 62443: Demonstrating the value of securing the smart grid at a systemic level to integrate different levels of security maturity in a multi-vendor industrial control system
  • NIS Directive Evolution: Reviewing how successfully the NIS directive has been implemented and how gaps in the standard are being addressed to enforce a more stringent cybersecurity structure across Europe
  • NIS Directive in Practice: Understanding the criteria that led to the successful implementation of the NIS directive in different European countries
  • Implementing IEC 62531 & Applying ISO2700: Leveraging industry experience of security standards when designing or maturing cybersecurity solutions across the network

Tightening grid security

  • Technology Innovation Panel: Security by Design: Delivering cybersecurity assurance with a comprehensive design process supported with an inclusive testing and validation programme to increase grid reliability
  • Substation Security: Developing an integrated cyber & physical security strategy to support the more complex needs of multi-vendor, multi-edition substations
  • SCADA & Control Systems: Futureproofing your SCADA cybersecurity through advanced prevention & detection techniques to guard against a more dynamic threat landscape
  • Smart Metering Security: Developing a smart meter cybersecurity strategy that addresses the vulnerabilities of the existing install base and future complexities introduced by DER
  • Cloud Security: Preparing for the adoption of more cloud-based services with increased interconnectivity and mitigating the risks on a systemic level
  • IoT Security: Identifying the new vulnerabilities introduced by IoT and developing a long-term strategy to mitigate the risk of the exponential increase in attack surface
  • DER Security: Developing your cybersecurity framework for a DER integrated smart grid environment, ensuring adequate visibility and control over grid extensions
  • Threat Actors: Understanding the new capabilities of the threat landscape from nation-state to insider threats, and applying highly targeted measures to mitigate risk across the smart grid

Prevention, Detection and Response

  • Advanced Prevention Techniques: Implementing next generation prevention solutions to guard against an evolving landscape in a more dynamic digital grid
  • Advanced Detection Techniques: Incorporation machine learning with IDS technologies to benefit from continuous learning in your cybersecurity solution
  • Advanced Response Strategies: Optimising your response strategy by ensuring a speedy and complete recovery at minimal disruption to grid operations

Speakers include:

  • Indrek Kunnapuu – CISO – Electrelevi
  • Alexandrer Harsch – Head of Cybersecurity – Innogy
  • Ivo Maritz – CISO – BKW Energie
  • Tim Joosten – Cybersecurity Consultant – Alliander (Qirion)
  • Anjos Nijk – Director – ENCS
  • Bas Kruimer – Director of Intelligent Networks & Communication – DNV GL
  • Dragomir Vatkov – Security Architect – Innogy
  • Chaitanya Bisale – Cybersecurity Manager – Siemens
  • Ovidiu Serban – Senior Intelligent Networks consultant – DNV GL
  • Brad Prent – Senior Security Consultant – ENCS


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