International Multistakeholder Conference: CYBERSPACE, ENERGY & DEVELOPMENT

FEB 16

Cyberspace, Energy & Development Protecting Critical Energy Infrastructure

This international conference will be co-organized with the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology and the EnergyPact Foundation and hosted by the Austrian National Defence Academy.

The conference will focus on the different aspects of the interaction of cyberspace, energy & development based on key findings on security issues. There is a clear need for greater international cooperation among nations regarding cyberspace especially concerning the risks related to critical infrastructure such as conventional energy systems. The early initiatives in this area have mainly focused on the safety of telecommunication and information networks, as these are the underlying infrastructure of cyberspace. However, if a cyber-attack were to result in the deterioration in the supply of energy means such as electricity, it could also impair the availability of other critical infrastructures like telecommunications, finance, health, transport, etc.

Many areas of energy systems are exposed to damage originated in cyberspace, and include energy mining and production centers, logistics or trading platforms, transport infrastructures of primary resources, such as oil, gas and coal, or processed electricity, such as smart grids, processing units, such as for uranium, consumption meters, such as smart metering, control systems, such as drones and e-mobility environments, including electric cars.

Obviously, the stakes go well beyond ensuring the security of supply, and also the potential damaging of key infrastructures, market impacts, the theft of data and other dormant risks. This interaction of risk issues between cyberspace and energy is in fact the umbrella under which effective cyber security should be designed for such critical infrastructure. Cybersecurity, just like Energy and Telecommunications are cross-border topics and therefore require exchange and cooperation between the national level and the international level, as well as cross-industries. This interaction is a prerequisite for safe and sustainable economic development.

AIT is scientific partner and co-organizer of the conference. Helmut Leopold, Head of Center for Digital Safety & Security, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology: "Innovation only happens through communication and combination of knowledge and technology. To achieve next generation security for future Industrial Control Systems and Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructures around the globe, we need new common concepts, new methodologies as well as new technologies. Therefore an intensive international discourse is needed to establish a global common understanding for cyber security as the basis for building highly resilient technical infrastructures. This conference, bringing together all relevant stakeholders from different disciplines, countries and organisations is the prime resource for achieving this goal."

Please find more information about the conference and the programme here: