We are very happy to welcome you all to the first issue of the CIPSEC newsletter. Next issues will be periodically published for all the project life, with the aim to disseminate the project results and advances thus widening project outcome impact and easing its potential adoption.
CIPSEC: “Enhancing Critical Infrastructure Protection with innovative SECurity framework”
“The aim of CIPSEC is to create an unified security framework that orchestrates State‐of-the-Art heterogeneous security products to offer high levels of protection in Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) departments of Critical Infrastructures”
CIPSEC vision and principles
- Unified security framework for Critical Infrastructures
CIPSEC can allow easy integration of heterogeneous systems to its framework with reduced adjustment, notably anomaly detection, anti-malware, cyber-security detection and prevention, distributed denial of service, and hardware security platforms.
- Security ecosystem
CIPSEC is able to offer a complete set of a security ecosystem to reliably support the proposed technical solutions at a professional demanding level, among which industrial control system vulnerability tests, studies for cascade effect attacks, contingency plans, and innovative forensics analysis are included.
CIPSEC project details
CIPSEC is a 36-month Innovation Action (IA) project funded by the European Union under the call H2020-DS-2015-1, topic DS-03-2015 The Role of ICT in Critical Infrastructures Protection.
The project, led by ATOS puts together a well-balanced European consortium of 13 partners, including companies, SMEs and research centers from 8 different countries (Spain, Greece, UK, Italy, Israel, Germany, Switzerland and Romania).
A well-defined set of objectives is to be addressed during the CIPSEC project life, aiming at building the whole CIPSEC framework. Proposed objectives are briefed next:
- Unified security framework for the CI infrastructure
There is a need for complete security solutions adjusted to the very specific requirements of CI environments. These solutions must be able to collect and process input and data from heterogeneous sources and allow easily integration of external market products that offer high-quality, specialized solutions. CIPSEC will handle CIs as comprehensive entities that require complete solutions but will create a flexible unified security framework that will be able to orchestrate diverse products of high quality created by different providers and experts on ICT security and network management, collect and process input, data and reports from multiple sources and levels and provide monitoring and anomaly detection for the complete CI (i.e., cross-layer methods), and finally allow easy integration of heterogeneous systems to the CIPSEC framework with minimum required modification.
- Security Ecosystem. Solutions and services that go beyond single CI borders
With the Internet enabling distribution of services and components, CIs are no longer isolated, independent entities, and their security is influenced by multiple factors, which sometimes reside outside their borders. The absence of a general security ecosystem, which could provide means, tools, practices, etc. to enable stakeholders (from public and private sector) to coordinate and collaborate, leaves everyone vulnerable and alone against sophisticated attacks with cascading effect that can harm multiple CIs. CIPSEC will create a set of services that form a security ecosystem, which supports our technical solutions to work reliably and at professional quality, promoting collaboration and coordination between CIs in an effort to advance the security levels of the overall environment.
- Validate CIPSEC security framework in real CIs (transportation, health and environment monitoring pilots)
CIs are complicated systems with multiple departments and components. Enforcing a complete security solution is not an easy task. Each CI has its specific requirements and any proposed solution must be adjusted to its very specific needs and systems. Especially when this solution combines diverse heterogeneous subsystems. The CIPSEC framework orchestrates CIPSEC products and services to produce unique overall solutions adjusted to specific CI systems, to be validated in real conditions and infrastructures, implementing three different pilots on the three different CI sectors: transportation, health and environment monitoring.
- Consolidate International and European links and collaborating with Standardizations bodies.
CI providers are general reluctant to cooperate on matters of sharing information about attacks on their systems. However only a coordinated effort between governments and the private sector and the definition of national and international policies, security standards and strategies will result in higher levels of CI protection. CIPSEC recognizes that the harmonization of CI security solutions with policies and Standards will ensure the quality of the proposed products and services and will also promote collaboration and communication between stakeholders. CIPSEC will consolidate our proposed solutions for transportation, health and environment monitoring with distinguished European links to ensure higher levels of quality. Whenever applicable, the project will promote the adoption of existing or emerging standards.
- Ready to market solutions and immediate market impact
Cyber -crime and attacks against CIs affect economy and business growth in multiple ways. However, a solution towards CI security must not be defined only around the aspect of cost savings from attack prevention/tackling. A solution will be successful and has more chances to be adopted if it promotes business activities and alliances, collaborations, access to new markets etc. CIPSEC will create positive business opportunities through its consortium and also through its proposed solution. The key differences that put our product ahead of the competition are the following: Security system simplicity, Threats identification (Time Response), System downtime (Service availability), Cascading effect protection, Orchestrated contingency plan (PPP plans), forensics analysis, and Technician certification.
The CIPSEC project proposes three different pilots in distinct domains (Transportation, Health and Environment monitoring) with heterogeneous requirements in terms of security, in order to provide a comprehensive and realistic validation scenario for the CIPSEC framework. Through the identification of the requirements baseline for security and resilience within pilots, CIPSEC is endorsed under true conditions and real infrastructures.
- CIPSEC and health CI
For the health pilot CIPSEC validates security aspects related to DDoS protection, hardware security, anomaly detection, cyber-security, OT’s networks protection and devices communication security.
- CIPSEC and transportation CI
Fort he transportation pilot CIPSEC aims to provide a solution, which monitors the communication between field elements and the core interlocking system and takes actions to prevent any damage.
- CIPSEC and Environment monitoring CI
In the context of the CIPSEC project, for the environmental pilot we focus on security aspects related to field STATION PC’s security, antimalware and antivirus protection, DDoS protection, hardware security, anomaly detection, cyber-security, OT’s network protection and devices communication security.
Events & News
CIPSEC held its Kick-Off meeting (KOM) in Barcelona on July 6-7th. The meeting was chaired by Atos, as project coordinator, and hosted by UPC. The agenda covered not only a review of the project workplan and insights of the seven work packages, but it was also intended to discuss the approaches to the three project scenarios, CI base security characteristics, existing solutions in the market, and a taxonomy of the CI environments. The KOM was also an opportunity for bringing the team together and building up. Our Project Officer, Ms. Cristina Longo from the Research Executive Agency (REA) had a devoted slot to present her views on the project.
CIPSEC First General Assembly Meeting
Hosted by FORTH, the CIPSEC consortium was holding a general assembly in the city of Heraklion (Crete, Greece) on September 22nd-23rd 2016. The project was facing the first semester of the first project year, therefore main discussions aim at the M6 deliverables submission in November and the preparation of the dissemination plan. This include topics such as functional, technical requirements, as well as committees sessions of the CIPSEC project to discuss about tools, technologies, market analysis or innovation, gathering working groups with different skills and profiles to have an enriched point of view.
CIPSEC Second General Assembly Meeting
Next meeting to come in February 6-7, 2017 in Luzern, Switzerland, organized by Empelor.
CIPSEC 1st Workshop
The 1st CIPSEC workshop, named as “Security vs Quality: A Dilemma for Critical Infrastructures”, will be collocated with the IEEE/ACM IWQoS 2017 at the UPC premises in Vilanova i la Geltrú, in June 14, 2017. More information about the workshop can be found at /article/workshops.