The French Ministry of the Armed Forces (FMAF) has developed a new strategy for energy defense. One of the goals of this strategy is the development and implementation of advanced technology solutions to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in order to increase operational performance and energy resilience. However, the new technologies and the enabling features employed also come with vulnerabilities that an adversary can exploit for harming personnel, equipment and the environment. As one of the means of safely achieving the strategy’s goal the Ministry requested support from the NATO Energy Security Center of Excellence (NATO ENSECCOE) to perform an assessment study on cybersecurity of smart-grid technologies employed in operational camps.
To execute the assessment and prepare an evaluation report, NATO ENSECCOE appointed its subject matter expert (SME) - Mr. Vytautas Butrimas, as its project lead and FMAF accordingly appointed Mme. Noemie Rebiére and Nicolas Mazzucchi as Points of Contact (PoC) from the FMAF Operational Energy Department. This assessment commenced with an on line project orientation meeting which took place on January 20, 2021. The project proposal’s expectations, scope and method of work were discussed and agreed upon (see Appendix 2).
The major focus of the work was to evaluate the cybersecurity aspects of industrial control systems and intelligent electronic devices (IED) used in smart grid operations and recommend appropriate security measures to address identified gaps. To clarify, the interest was in looking at the operational technology side (OT) or the way physical processes are monitored and managed as opposed to the information technology (IT) found in the business parts of IT operations found in office environments. The relevant legal and regulatory environment in France were also consulted during the preparation of this assessment.
The report’s intended audience are decision makers at the General Staff HQ. However, it should also be useful to lower level specialists and those tasked with the design and development of system specifications leading to procurement and implementation of a smart grid solution for an operational military camp.