Security and Privacy for Future Energy Grids


Security and Data Protection for Energy Grids

Our energy systems are becoming more and more interconnected with stronger dynamics and fluctuations at the same time. The widespread use of information technologies is intended to help balance the generation and use of energy. In addition to the necessary benefits of information technologies, this also entails risks, especially with regard to the security of the energy network and the collected electricity consumption data. KASTEL deals with questions and solutions concerning the security of the energy network and sensitive consumer data. A decisive factor in this research is the Energy Lab 2.0, which is centrally located at KIT and deals intensively with the energy networks of the future.

Security and Privacy for Future Energy Systems

Our energy systems will be fundamentally restructured in the future. Solar and wind energy is generated decentrally and in a highly fluctuating manner. Only the intensive use of information technology can balance production and demand.

This widespread use of IT systems creates new threats to the economy and society at the same time: the power consumption data collected for network control allow conclusions to be drawn about private life habits and production processes in industry. At the same time, additional IT systems increase the attack area; manipulation can lead to disruptions, damage and long-term, large-scale power outages. This makes IT security an essential prerequisite for a successful Energiewende (Energy Transition).

In order to ensure the security of such systems, the electricity grid must be considered in its entirety so that the concepts and methods of information technology and electrical engineering can be appropriately integrated. In particular, data protection and the legal framework of regulation require a close involvement of the jurisprudence. KASTEL develops interdisciplinary solutions for the security and privacy of the power grids of the future.

A particular challenge is to reconcile the seemingly contradictory requirements for functionality, real-time capability, privacy protection and robustness against attacks and disruptions. Distributed energy systems should not only have a secure IT infrastructure, but also be robust as a whole, since attacks cannot be completely avoided.

KASTEL researches the security and resistance of real systems in the Energy Lab 2.0 of the Helmholtz Association and in the IT security laboratory for the production of the Fraunhofer IOSB.

The research group involved is the Institut für angewandte Informatik (IAI)