NPC Ukrenergo is now testing hardware and software complexes of the international-level industrial cybersecurity systems from a number of leading producers for the automated process control system (APCS) at substations. Test results will demonstrate the possibility of implementing the specific hardware and software complex to ensure the cybersecurity for APCS at all substations of the Company. Hardware and software complexes are being tested at different facilities under different scenarios of potential intrusion to assess the reliability level of solutions proposed.
The primary task of cybersecurity hardware and software complexes is real-time tracking of all information flows, in-depth analysis of adequacy and consistency of transmitted data, and instant notification of NPC Ukrenergo’s security centre of any suspicious activity. APCS enables the automated operation of substations and remote control of processes from the central dispatch centre, which requires a reliable end-to-end solution in terms of cybersecurity.
“Cybersecurity for APCS at substations is one of the most important components of the secure and resilient operation of Ukraine’s power system. To have it in place we need the most sophisticated ad-hoc hardware and software complex of the international level, which should not interfere with the normal operation of the automated process control environment but will instantly and specifically respond to cybersecurity incidents and will prevent the evolvement of a technological accident that may arise from a cyber attack,” stressed Sergii Galagan, Chief Information Officer at NPC Ukrenergo.
Building a cybersecurity system for the entire grid infrastructure is a challenging and complex task, so following the preliminary study of market supply and expertise of providers of such solutions Ukrenergo will be in a position to assess how offers match the Company’s needs. Given the high cost of such elaborate and highly sophisticated cybersecurity systems, potential loans from international financial institutions are now under consideration in order to procure the systems under appropriate tender procedures.
It is to be recalled that NPC Ukrenergo is implementing a comprehensive automation programme that includes the reconstruction of all Company’s substations alongside with implementation of APC systems. The programme aims to improve the reliability of the electricity transmission system, create a technical framework for implementing the smart grid technology in trunk networks, and ensure the grid resiliency and security level as per ENTSO-E requirements. The programme is funded with loans from international financial institutions and is implemented in two stages. The first stage provides the reconstruction of 57 substations by the end of 2025—the substations are grouped into investment projects, of which five are in the active phase of implementation. The remaining projects include the reconstruction of 19 substations in four power systems of Ukrenergo by 2023.
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