Leonardo and the SecureGas project: a new era of cyber-physical convergence

09 September 2020

Leonardo is playing an important role in the SecureGas project – part of the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection – which aims to increase the security and resilience of the European gas network, by considering physical and cyber threats.

As a consortium member of SecureGas, Leonardo is responsible for ensuring the cyber-physical security of energy infrastructures – an increasingly important type of security in the era of physical-logical convergence.

Across critical national infrastructure, manufacturing plants, office environments, retail locations, transport, healthcare, sport and so much more, digital devices and systems play an integral and indispensable role. This process of digitisation has been accelerated by the contingent events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and will continue to move at pace. A strongly digital society is therefore developing experiencing advanced technologies with extreme naturalness even in the daily environment. The result is a digital and social transformation even of the most traditional processes and rooted habits.

The convergence between cyber space (logical dimension) and physical space (physical dimension), or CyPhy, will spark far-reaching advantages in terms of productivity, efficiency, wellbeing and development. However, as well as the potential benefits, such technological advances also represent challenges that must be acknowledged and analysed early on. Just as the cyber and physical domains have their respective threats, risks and consequences, closer association of the two will inevitably lead to ‘cross-contamination’ between them.

While this is not a new notion, today we have the additional consideration that the environments in which such events can take place are the most disparate they have ever been – from critical infrastructures and the defence sector to smart cities and smart homes, with the classic example of smart locking systems. Cyber critical events in the Oil & Gas sector alone led to losses of $1.87 billion by 2018, demonstrating the necessity to get to grips with the development of cyber-physical security systems.

With this in mind, CyPhy’s converging risks place greater focus on monitoring and security. SecureGas has tasked Leonardo with developing a CyPhy-based security solution to be applied to the gas pipeline infrastructures of three major European end-users: ENI for Italy, Amber for Lithuania, and DEPA-EDAA for Greece. It is a first important step in covering all 140,000 km of European gas pipelines.

Leonardo’s platform will be responsible for managing the cyber-physical security of the European transmission and distribution infrastructures. This will be achieved through the integration of physical sensors for the identification of malfunctions, with some ‘cyber-probes’ using data analysis to monitor the infrastructure’s integrity by detecting suspicious activities. Acquired data will then be correlated, providing operators with a cyber-physical awareness and an important decision support tool, ensuring the cyber-physical security of the entire infrastructure.

To find out more about the SecureGas project, download the attachment.

For more information: cyberandsecurity@leonardo.com



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