European power grids cooperate on cyber-security

News by SC Staff

Aurélio Blanquet, the recently elected Chair of the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS ) Assembly Committee, calls for harmonisation and cooperation, particularly to close skills gap.

"Only by working together will utilities be able to stand up to the cyber-security threat. We must be able to share both problems and solutions, and to set common goals for common challenges," said Aurélio Blanquet, director of Portuguese engery company EDP Distribuição, and recently elected Chair of the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS ) Assembly Committee.
Aurelio Blanquet
In the same recent interview Blanquet said that even more important is the skills gap: "There isn’t enough  security expertise to go around in the European energy sector. So, we have to identify and nourish more of this talent, attracting, developing and retaining it so that the industry has the security knowledge it needs."
He notes that the skills gap also underlines the importance of cooperation, saying: "If we have limited resources, it’s important to deploy them in the smartest way possible. We cannot afford for different teams to all be doing the same things in different pockets of Europe, we must coordinate for best effect. As a unifying element that helps achieve a strategic consensus from its members, ENCS has been central to that and will continue to be so."
Blanquet went on to describe cyber-security as the single most critical issue in digital transformation. "You can talk about electric vehicles and prosumers and all these exciting things, but none of it will count for anything if we don’t get the security right. ENCS can be the security organisation for European grid operators and is a very, very viable route to help achieve that."
However, ENCS would not act alone as it is a community of members, which also works with important associations such as EDSO,  ENTSO-E and EUTC, as well as the European Commission. "Together, we are all stakeholders with a common goal of achieving a more secure European energy grid, and this opportunity allows me to help continue and deepen that cooperation,"  he said, regarding his recent election as chairman.
Previous member projects have included developing security requirements for distribution automation systems, stressing the importance of harmonisation of security requirements and testing driven by the grid operator community.  ENCS has also supported the shift towards end-to-end security and risk management, and a growing awareness of the importance of information and knowledge sharing, and security analytics platforms.

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