Members of the SCISSOR consortium were on the Italian island of Favignana recently for the 8th plenary meeting of the SCISSOR project.
What is the SCISSOR project about?
The SCISSOR project is designing a new generation supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) security monitoring framework to allow for connected, yet secure, industrial control systems. These control systems are present in nearly every industrial sector and critical infrastructure such as the manufacturing, transportation, energy, and water treatment industries.
Why was Favignana chosen?
One of the SCISSOR consortium members is SEA SOCIETA’ ELETTRICA di Favignana (SEA) S.p.a., which is the electrical energy producer and distribution operator of Favignana island. The company currently produces around 14.000.000 kWh of energy per year and has 3,500 end users. SEA has put one of its sub-stations at the project’s disposal and this station has been fully equipped to improve security. It has been a great team effort with the consortium partners providing not only expertise but hardware to ensure the best results. RADIO6ENSE provided the sensors, software for the audio and video equipment comes courtesy of AGH, the network monitoring software is delivered by CNIT and the edge computing device, NuvlaBox, has been provided by SixSq. It hosts an SRFG-provided agent which ingests the data coming from the sensors, implements reconfigurable local data processing steps, and finally emits the data to SCISSOR’s central cloud infrastructure.
One of the important aims of the meeting was to upgrade the system to improve network monitoring. This will ensure that the electricity provider is warned in case of a cyber attack, for example if the network is subject to flooding, a technique employed to compromise the security of networks. The software from CNIT, for example, looks for anomalies in the network.
The SCISSOR system guarantees monitoring on three levels:
- IT Security via continuous network monitoring
- Environmental security thanks to sensors installed in the cabin
- Physical security is monitored via audio and video installations
The analysis of the information provided by the sensors is done on site and then passed to the central elements of the SCISSOR system to alert operators of unusual situations and possibly to take corrective actions automatically. Raw information is also passed to the decision-making elements to update the machine learning algorithms so that they evolve with the platform.
The experience from the existing Favignana deployment over the last 9 months has led to a number of improvements. Testing those improvements and an end-to-end validation of the SCISSOR platform will be the focus in the remainder of the project, which continues until 31 December 2017. The project then hopes to announce its innovative prototype which will be the springboard for a production-ready platform.