EV charging infrastructure protected by ENCS-ElaadNL MoU

The expertise gained from the collaboration of organisations in Europe, will help strengthen the electric grid’s resilience against cyber attacks.
Published: Fri 28 Jul 2017

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The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) and Dutch grid platform operator ElaadNL, will work together to protect EV smart charging infrastructure from cyber security threats. The MoU’s focus is on the development of effective security measures and regulation, industry-leading cyber security practices and common standards for EV charging.

Dedicated to smart grid cyber security, ENCS will supply technical information and expertise on cybersecurity in the energy sector while ElaadNL, will share its knowledge of smart charging in the Netherlands.

This closer collaboration agreement results from a series of hacking and security training programs organized by ENCS in which ENTSO-E and its members participated.The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) in the Netherlands and the Brussels-based European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) have also just formed a tighter collaboration to increase Europe’s power system resilience against cyber attacks.

ElaadNL, with over 100,000 EVs and even more charge points, saw a real need to tighten security. Says Onoph Caron, director at ElaadNL: “Now, if you imagine connecting all those charge points to the smart grid, you can start to appreciate how important proper cyber security is. Working with ENCS helps us to ensure that security.”

Increasing grid resilience through collaboration

This latest partnership follows a previous collaboration between ENCS and ElaadNL on EV charging cyber security and the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). The close collaboration between ENCS & ENTSO-E is critical towards increasing the resilience of Europe's power system against cyber attacks, according to the statement from ENTSO-E. "

As a membership organization, our strength is in the huge collective experience and knowledge spread across our member base," said Anjos Nijk, Managing Director, ENCS. "That's what we bring to bear on solving Europe's smart grid cyber security challenges. By collaborating with ENTSO-E, we gain visibility and insight from a wider and deeper pool of experts, and they can begin to benefit from the expertise we've developed."

ENCS Consulting Services director Michael John said: “As EVs become a significant part of the smart grid in the Netherlands and Europe, the standards and expertise we develop together will be vital in keeping charging infrastructure safe.”

Established in 2012, ENCS brings together critical infrastructure stakeholders and security experts to deploy secure critical energy grids across Europe.

Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity Analytics

In April of this year, a first of its kind, Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics, Cardiff University and Airbus, was established to protect corporate IT networks, intellectual property and critical national infrastructure. Together with experts from Airbus, researchers will be conducting studies into machine learning, data analytics and artificial intelligence for cyber-attack detection.

Dr Pete Burnap from the university, the centre's director, said: "Cyber security analytics is about improving our resilience to cyber-attacks through data modelling to detect and block malicious behaviour before it causes its full impact.

"But [it's] also about understanding what motivates the behaviour, what its likely impact will be, and how to communicate security alerts among decision and policy-makers."

Cybersecurity- a growing concern

The World Energy Council, a global network of energy leaders, reports that cybersecurity in the energy sector had been high on the agenda of a security conference in Munich earlier this year. The issue was also raised in May by the Scottish parliament.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently found that 65% of UK businesses were “significantly concerned” over cyber risks to energy technology. Three in five businesses would switch energy supplier if they suffered a cyber breach, according to a survey of 500 businesses by the professional services firm.

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