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Surveillance and Security: Protecting Electricity Utilities and other Critical Infrastructures

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number15
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Energy Informatics
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Critical infrastructures – such as electricity networks, power stations and Smart Grids – are increasingly monitored and controlled by computing and communication technologies. The need to address security and protection of electricity infrastructures with a high priority has broadly been recognized. This is driven by many factors, including the rapid evolution of threats and consistent technological advancements of malicious actors as well as potentially catastrophic consequences of disruptions of such systems. Surveillance and security technologies are traditionally used in these contexts as a protection mechanism that maintains situational awareness and provides appropriate alerts. Surveillance is a cumbersome process because of the need to monitor a diverse set of objects, but it is absolutely essential to detect promptly the occurrence of adverse events or conditions. The aims of this paper are twofold: First, we describe two surveillance architectures in which different technologies can be used jointly for boosting the safety and security of electricity utilities and other key resources and critical infrastructures. Second, we review the typical surveillance and security technologies and evaluate them in the context of critical infrastructures, which may help in making recommendations and improvements for the future. To accomplish these aims, we extracted and consolidated information from major survey papers. This led to identifying the surveillance and security technologies, their application areas, and challenges that they face. We also investigate the perceived performance of the identified technologies in critical infrastructures. The latter comes from interviewing experts who operate in critical infrastructures, and thus provide indications for protecting critical infrastructures, not least because of their increasing use of cyber-physical elements.