Critical Infrastructure Security: Cyber-Physical Attack Prevention, Detection, and Countermeasures

Critical Infrastructure Security: Cyber-Physical Attack Prevention, Detection, and Countermeasures

Ayush Sinha (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India), Ranjana Vyas (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India), Venkatesan Subramanian (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India) and O. P. Vyas (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2253-0.ch007


Cyber-physical security applied to the domain of critical infrastructure (CI) poses different challenges. To acknowledge the security concern of CI from a cyber-physical perspective becomes imperative since the failure of any one of the CI's components may not only lead to cascading effects, but also the overall services may shut-down state. The energy infrastructure is becoming the backbone in CI due to the complexity of environment, heterogeneous communication technologies, and different configurations of the energy infrastructure, so securing the communication among these devices and control centers becomes a central issue. Many significant works in the related domain has been done. The main focus of the chapter is identification of the attack vector formulation with prevention and detection mechanisms for different components, providing countermeasures cohesively against security threats.
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Energy infrastructures, assisted by the adoption of modern information and communication technology (ICT), are the main critical infrastructures (CIs) which are essential to maintain essential societal functions. Any harm of these infrastructures by cyber-attacks, natural disasters and criminal activity may have bad consequences for the security and safety of modern Smart Cities and society at large. Emerging cyber, physical and combined cyber-physical threats, as well as non-traditional attacks to CIs have exposed the limitation of risk assessment done traditionally, as well as those of protection solutions. Inevitably, the energy production and distribution systems, which comprise a vital economic and social infrastructure, are exposed to: (a) security threats inherited from the ICT sector, (b) physical attacks like bombing, fires and floods, and (c) combinations of cyber and physical threats. Considering that a potential attack to an energy installation may lead to cascading failures, these threats can lead to disruptions with severe consequences like destruction of other interconnected CIs (e.g., water, communications and transportation), loss of human lives and environmental impact. The context of Energy Infrastructure is mainly discussed through Smart grid domain and it is very essential to adequately address the cyber and physical security of the energy infrastructure and its underlying smart grid setup.

The smart grid (SG) is the term seen as the combination of legacy and existing electrical infrastructure for the power distribution domain along with distributed set of control and networking devices for the effective data and control communication. The various important constituents of SG are the electrical infrastructure which work as a backbone for the power generation, transmission and distribution domain and geographically distributed smart devices that work concurrently and in individual to make the system stable and configurable using supervisory software like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) as suggested by D. Yang, A. Usynin, and J.W. Hines (2008).

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