Energy 14 June, 2017 9:00 am   
Editorial staff

Hackers may attack the energy sector. Poland is arming itself

In an interview for Polskie Radio 24, the Government Plenipotentiary for Strategic Energy Infrastructure, Piotr Naimski warned against cyber attacks on energy infrastructure. Polish companies are getting ready for such a possibility.

The minister reminded about the government’s plans to expand the LNG terminal in Świnoujście and build the Northern Gateway. This will decrease Poland’s and its ECC neighbors’ dependency on Russian gas. This is why Naimski who is responsible for strategic energy infrastructure is warning against cyber attacks against it.

“We need to take into consideration hacker attacks. Poland is striving to break Russia’s energy monopoly,” he stated.

NATO’s help

On 7 June 2016, at the premises of the PSE-Operator S.A. (Polish power grid operator), the company and NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, signed a letter of intent about mutual cooperation in the area of securing critical infrastructure. It will mainly pertain to exchange of information and experience related to electricity infrastructure security.

PSE – Operator S.A. is under minister Naimski’s supervision.

CERT for energy industry

On 14 March 2017 Energa IT and Technologies (EIT) and PSE-Operator S.A signed a cooperation agreement between computer emergency response teams (CERT) that work in Energa and PSE capital groups.

The deal between EIT and PSE stipulates the creation of a CERT team for the entire energy sector and construction of one plain of security against cyber risks in accordance with Poland’s Cyber Security Strategy designed by the Ministry of Digitalization. The cooperation is to encompass joint improvements in cyber security, sharing knowledge on threats and fighting against cyber criminals.

The agreement is supposed to encourage other energy groups to create CERT teams and join the cooperation for early-risk detection, appropriate response to attacks from the public network and handling crisis situations. Such actions ensure a proper level of security for electric energy transmission.

For the Energa Group this guarantees the provision of highest-quality security services offered by the CERT Energa team.

The CERT Energa team, which coordinates the management of Energa Group’s  IT is the first successful implementation of this type of solution in Polish energy groups. The signed agreement will enable the CERT Energa team to widen its contacts, exchange data on threats and incidents, and exchange experience with other security teams in a trusted environment.

PSE warns

“Every day the PSE-Operator S.A’s IT systems are attacked by cyber criminals. But we are monitoring and successfully counteracting this,” said Łukasz Kister, PhD., head of the Audit and Security Department in a statement to the Polish Press Agency.

“Every day our IT networks are tested, every day there are between a few hundred and a few thousand various attacks, entrances, ports scanning. However, the majority of those attacks are primitive,” he added.