Digital crime costs the economy around $450 billion per year, according to a report on Cyber Security that was recently published by British magazine The Economist. Cyber-attacks – including the sabotaging of critical infrastructure such as power plants, energy grids and telecommunications – and Internet vulnerability are the current key challenges to global security.
Valentino Angeletti, Enel's Cybersecurity Research Representative, explained that business systems security has long been a central theme in Enel strategy, and not only in terms of business protection.
'Enel is commited to protecting its strategic assets from cyber-attacks,' he said. 'Power grids and plants are a critical part of infrastructure because malfunctioning or damage could pose problems for national security.'
Angeletti described a defence and prevention programme built on three key areas:
- High alert on all the new and increasingly targeted cybercrime threats to power and energy networks. The potential risks were demonstrated by Dragonfly, a recent espionage operation uncovered by Symantec, which is said to have attacked energy companies both in the U.S. and in Europe;
- Constant monitoring of Cyber Security technological innovation for power plants and participation in European networks and research projects, such as the CRISALIS consortium;
- Rigorous risk assessment tests using the Group's infrastructure, in particular Enel's experimental Engineering and Research Division's Cyber Security laboratory.
'All of these activities are being carried out by a security organisation which is seeing collaboration between business security, Global ICT and research,' Angeletti concluded. 'Collaboration between different areas of the Enel Group is hugely important for effective cyber security.'
'This type of collaboration is growing across institutions', declared Francesco Ceccarelli, Director of Security Governance and Business Intelligence. Proof of this emerged during the First Cyber Security Energy Conference, which was promoted by WEC-Italia. Enel has always played an active role in the interaction between business and institutions, and it takes part in initiatives carried out by Italy's Computer Emergency Response Team, which was established as part of National Plan for Cyberspace Protection and Information Security by the Ministry of Economic Development.