Switzerland participates in a simulation of cyberattacks against European energy infrastructure

Switzerland participates in a simulation of cyberattacks against European energy infrastructure
Switzerland participates in a simulation of cyberattacks against European energy infrastructure

Switzerland co-organized Cyber ​​Europe this week, a vast exercise simulating large-scale cyberattacks against the energy infrastructure of European countries to assess their state of preparedness. Several federal bodies and around thirty organizations from the Swiss energy sector took part, under the leadership of the Federal Office for Cybersecurity (OFCS).

The European Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) organized the 7th Cyber ​​Europe, a biennial simulation exercise of large-scale cyberattacks to test countries’ preparedness. Switzerland is co-organizer of the 2024 edition which brings together 30 national cybersecurity agencies and mobilizes a thousand specialists.

This year, the exercise focused on energy infrastructure. In 2023, more than 200 cyber incidents will hit the sector, half of which will be in Europe, says ENISA. Although vital, the energy sector still has cybersecurity gaps, according to the agency. A third of energy operators therefore do not monitor any of their critical processes linked to industrial systems (OT) via a Security Operation Center (SOC).

For the exercise, ENISA developed a scenario seeing a fictitious foreign actor (code name: Voltaros) threaten European energy infrastructure in retaliation for geopolitical tensions. For two days, players in the sector suffered large-scale simulated attacks.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, visited the ENISA premises and the Cyber ​​Europe exercise room.

The exercise should allow participants to perfect their coordination and crisis management skills to ensure business continuity despite attacks. On the Swiss side, several federal bodies and around thirty organizations from the energy sector participated in the exercise under the direction of the Federal Office for Cybersecurity (OFCS).

“Preserving our critical infrastructure is one of the foundations of the single market and we must therefore improve our preparedness and response capabilities to protect them. The Cyber ​​Europe exercise is proof that we are committed to our efforts to achieve this,” comments Juhan Lepassaar, Executive Director of ENISA.

Following the exercise and its analysis, ENISA will publish a report with guidelines and suggestions. The OFCS will carry out “an examination of the results and lessons to be learned at the national level, with the assistance of the participants”.

#Swiss

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