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Protection of critical non-nuclear energy infrastructure against cyberattacks

27.08.2015

MOSCOW, AUGUST 27, 2015. PIR PRESS – “Sharing best practices in the field of critical infrastructure protection, including non-nuclear energy infrastructure is often limited because of special security regime at such objects, whereas elaboration of norms and standards of states’ conduct in information space is complicated due to the lack of trust among them. Despite some regional initiatives to strengthen international information security, the ongoing discussion on the necessity to elaborate norms in information space, a comprehensive cooperation mechanism is lacking, which should be taken into account given the peculiarities of ICT sphere,” – according to PIR Center intern Karina Markova.

On August 26, 2015 PIR Center intern Karina Markova presented her research paper “Relevant issues of critical non-nuclear energy infrastructure protection against cyberattacks” in the framework of PIR Center’s “Midweek Brainstorming session” series. PIR Center staff members Albert Zulkharneev, Director of PIR Center, Andrey Baklitskiy, Program Director “Russia and Nuclear Nonproliferation”, Alexandra Kulikova, Program Coordinator “Global Internet Governance and International Information Security”, Olga Mostinskaya, Editor in chief of the Security Index Journal, Oleg Demidov, PIR Center Consultant attended the seminar. They were joined by experts and members of the working group of the PIR Center program “Global Internet Governance and International Information Security”: Vitaly Kabernik, head of advanced research and educational development of Institute of Innovative Development of MGIMO University, Dmitry Kovchegin, independent researcher, Mikhail Medrish, Director of Foundation for Support of Internet Development “Internet Support Foundation”, Natalia Piskunova, project manager at Joint Stock Company “EXPOTRONICA” and Mikhail Yakushev, Vice-President of ICANN for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Relevant issues of critical non-nuclear energy infrastructure protection in the context of ongoing developments in the ICT were illustrated: automation and dependency on information systems make these facilities vulnerable to cyber threats. “Given the importance of uninterrupted access to energy, interdependency of infrastructures and the existence of “cascade effect”, insuring security of critical non-nuclear energy infrastructure objects plays a key role for modern society. At the same time the number of such attacks is growing, for example industrial networks SCADA/ICS remain very vulnerable,” – reads the paper.

Due to the importance of protecting these objects, existing approaches and legislation in the USA, the EU and Russia, as well as technical cooperation in the framework of CERTs were studied, cooperation mechanisms at the international level were analysed. “Sharing best practices in the field of critical infrastructure protection, including non-nuclear energy infrastructure is often limited because of special security regime at such objects, whereas elaboration of norms and standards of states’ conduct in information space is complicated due to the lack of trust among them. Despite some regional initiatives to strengthen international information security, the ongoing discussion on the necessity to elaborate norms in information space, a comprehensive cooperation mechanism is lacking, which should be taken into account given the peculiarities of ICT sphere,” – stresses Karina Markova.

Participants of the Midweek Brainstorming session made comments and recommendations on the paper to be taken into account for the final draft and the publication in the coming months.

For questions related to the "Midweek Brainstorming sessions", please contact Project coordinator  Ekaterina Sizikova, by phone +7 (495) 987 19 15 or via e-mail sizikova at pircenter.org.

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