The first aim that SPARKS will target is to promote awareness of existing and emerging smart grid cyber-security risks to stakeholders, including energy network operators, industry and policy makers. SPARKS will develop procedural and technical countermeasures, and provide cost assess-ments of the developed technologies via business cases. In addition, the project will investigate privacy issues related to smart grid development, especially in the areas related to customers like smart metering, taking into account existing legislation and providing guidance for future activities.
Technology development in SPARKS focuses on three core concepts required for secure smart grids: (1) cyber-attack resilient control systems; (2) real-time network monitoring of SCADA-based control systems; and (3) novel hardware security technologies for smart metering applications.
The control systems research will investigate the relationship between key control loops in a smart grid, and propose designs that enable semi-autonomous islands of control, which maintain stable operation in the face of attack or disruption. Breakthroughs in this area will propel the European smart grid infrastructure into a world-leading position. Real-time network monitoring and data analysis is key for building advanced SCADA-specific intrusion detection systems, which would protect European smart grid network assets and provide new commercial opportunities for European equipment manufacturers. SPARKS results will reduce the attack surface of smart grid systems, detect cyber-attacks in real-time, and improve the resilience of smart grid infrastructure during an attack.
SPARKS will provide a deeper understanding of the threats, vulnerabilities and economic consequences of cyber-attacks on smart grid infrastructure, raise awareness amongst industry leaders, present convincing information to stakeholders, lead the debate and draw through action to improve the cyber readiness of European network operators.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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