PHOENIX Project presented to the ESMIG association – September 2022
The energy industry has undergone significant changes in recent years. In addition to digital transformation, companies are facing the challenges of globalization and growing demands on information and cybersecurity requirements. In early September, the cyber security solution PHOENIX has been presented to the Data communication and protection working group of the ESMIG organization, European association of smart energy solution providers.
The main topic of presentation was a Universal Security Gateway (USG), which ensures that existing energy devices can be connected to the Phoenix system.
New trends, customer needs and rapidly changing technologies require companies to embrace change, develop agility and respond fast. Since ESMIG members are small to multinational companies that develop and manufacture devices, information technologies and services for multi-commodity metering, display and management of energy production and consumption, the cybersecurity topic was great opportunity to present the complete solution to the working group with complete background and overall solution. Since the group is active in smart metering business, we focused on presenting the solution suitable for them.
The EU legislation on cybersecurity is the Network and Information Security (NIS 2) Directive, which defines the “Network Code on Cybersecurity”, requiring introduction of incident detection system and the exchange of incident information in the energy sector. The cybersecurity became more than relevant for the smart metering industry, and the PHOENIX project is a perfect solution for this demand.
The main topic of presentation was a Universal Security Gateway (USG), which ensures that existing energy devices can be connected to the Phoenix system. We introduced a special variant of the USG (named Integrated USG) that can be installed on smart meter, bringing the PHOENIX functionality to existing (i.e., legacy) smart electricity meters. The solution can be implemented in critical areas such as hospitals, power plants or similar. We also presented a solution with a standalone USG that can cover a group of meters (for example meter room or G3-PLC network) where the USG can be implemented on a data concentrator and/or border router. The third option was implementation on the head-end system, i.e., the data aggregation software that aggregates data from all smart meters.
The interesting feature presented was Secure API, which defined how EPES devices can connect to the PHOENIX platform. The API raised many questions and generated interest as it was seen as an interesting feature to implement in a new generation of smart meter infrastructure devices.
The part of presentation (in a limited manner) also included the results of the USG penetration tests conducted in May, which proved that the USG is secure and robust against cyberattacks. We also presented the results of LSP3, where PHOENIX is demonstrated on the AMI, which is upgraded with the USG interface.
Overall, the presentation was well accepted with good feedback. The main idea was to promote the solution to the smart metering community, which is not well aware of the project, but can be a very interesting customer for the solution.