Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - SERENITI (Cyber Security and Resilience of Networked Critical Infrastructures)

Modern Networked Critical Infrastructures (NCIs), e.g. electricity grids, rely on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for their operation since ICT can lead to cost reduction as well as greater efficiency, flexibility and interoperability between components. In the past NCIs were isolated environments and used proprietary hardware and protocols, limiting thus the threats that could affect them. Nowadays, with the adoption of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) ICT, NCIs are exposed to significant cyber threats that can lead to economical and human losses. This project aims at elaborating novel holistic methodologies for the design of security and resilience-aware ICT infrastructures for NCIs.

Summary of the project objectives:

O1. To develop security and resilience-aware network design methodologies for NCI.

O2. To develop a novel physical process- and self- aware Distributed Intrusion Detection System integrated into NCI.

During the first two years of the project the focus was placed on Objective 1, that is, on the review of NCI architectures and of security/resilience requirements (Step 1), on the design of a methodology to identify the optimal NCI architecture (Step 2), and on the validation of the developed NCI design methodology (Step 3).

As part of Step 1, Mr. Genge conducted a review on the available NCI architectures from publicly available technical documents, standards and academic publications. As part of Step 2, the fellow developed a systematic approach to address the security and the resilience requirements of NCI. The research fellow developed an approach for assessing the impact of cyber attacks (CAIA) on NCI. Based on this approach, Mr. Genge developed a constraint-based optimization problem to design cyber security-aware NCI networks. A similar methodology was developed to assist the design of resilient NCI architectures. Then, the fellow adopted state-of-the-art technologies, e.g., Software-Defined Networks (SDN), for the provisioning of secure and resilient NCI architectures. In Step 3, the research fellow developed an experimentation infrastructure, which was adopted in the validation of the developed techniques.

The activities conducted so far have brought the following main contributions over the state-of-the-art:

1. A new cyber attack impact assessment (CAIA) methodology.

2. A new security and resilience-aware NCI design methodology.

3. A new hierarchical control plane was developed to facilitate the provisioning of secure and resilient NCI.

The activities conducted so far also contributed to the development of Mr. Genge’s research network. He developed new research contacts with the University of Debrecen, the Vrije University of Amsterdam, the Simula Research Laboratory (Norway), the University of Piraeus and the University of Athens, and with the University of Mondragon (Spain). Mr. Genge makes yearly presentations to students enrolled in Bachelor and Masters programs at the Petru Maior University, as part of SERENITI’s outreach activities. The Web page of project SERENITI is available at:

Lastly, the project significantly contributed to the fellow’s academic evolution and long-term integration. Starting with October 2015 he has been appointed as Associate Professor and he has recently submitted his Habilitation Thesis. If successfully defended, the Habilitation will allow Mr. Genge to be the independent supervisor of PhD students.

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Life Sciences
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