IT security of Smart Grids, Enel awarded by the United Nations


The evolution of today's cities into the smart cities of the future requires that all control systems within electrical networks be adequately protected against threats. In fact, the development of new technologies brings numerous advantages, while at the same time exposing systems to a constant risk of cyber attack. Electricity in particular plays a crucial role in so­called critical national infrastructures (CNI), because it powers all other infrastructures.

In the current energy scenario, therefore, cybersecurity proves a true enabler for the digitisation of networks and the creation of innovative services, and it is no coincidence that the Enel Group – which plays a leading role in 9 pilot smart cities, 5 of which in Italy, 2 in Spain and 2 in Latin America – has been at the forefront for years in the development of advanced IT security and the sharing of best practices with other stakeholders.

In this context, Enel has participated, in cooperation with the research firm RSE, the non­profit organisation Global Cyber Security Center and the Portuguese industrial group EFACEC, in the SoES project (Security of Energy System), designed to respond to the need to develop knowledge and share best practices in smart grid IT security.

SoES, a project funded by the European Union, which recognised its scientific value, was one of the 18 winners of the 2015 WSIS Prize (World Summit on the Information Society), established by the United Nations' IT agency in the category of Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

'The project, which was launched in 2012 and concluded in 2014, focused on smart grids, one of the most interesting research topics in the energy field,' explained Gian Luigi Pugni from Global ICT at Enel. 'The prestigious award we received recognises the innovative approach of our analysis, the result of case studies that we examined in order to make an overall assessment of the implications of network security and share the best solutions developed so far.'