A plenary discussion “Digital transformation is unstoppable: how we can enhance the security of life-supporting infrastructure?" organized by Rosseti took place on the first day of the third International Forum Russian Energy Week.
Pavel Livinskiy, Director General of Rosseti, Gerhard Schroeder, Federal Chancellor of Germany (1998-2005), Chairman of the Committee of Shareholders of Nord Stream 2 AG, Anatoly Tikhonov, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Peter Biryukov, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Public Utilities and Public Works of Moscow, Alexei Teksler, Governor of the Chelyabinsk region, as well as heads of major Russian and world energy companies and manufacturers of electrical equipment. Participants explored the issue of cyber security of the electricity industry in the framework of the industry transformation based on new technologies.
As Pavel Livinskiy noted, opening the panel discussion, the problem of cyber security is extremely acute for large companies. He cited the example of Rosseti, where specialists annually block about 9 million hacker attempts to penetrate into the corporate security perimeter. The Head of the electric grid holding indicated several key measure of cyber protection: the existence of a corporate technological network without access to public networks, which today is accepted as a standard within the digital transformation concept, the protection of communication channels using advanced technologies, and the use of Russian software equipment.
“Our first primary task in the field of cyber security, as one of the country's systemic companies, is to strictly follow international trends, adopt the best international practices, effectively cooperate with leading foreign companies, with active innovation of domestic technology, because in terms of cyber security import substitution is not just an ordinary task but a guarantee of critical infrastructure protection,” emphasized the Head of Rosseti.
In his speech, Gerhard Schroeder focused on global cyber security issues. He noted that the digital transformation in the context of market globalization creates not only new opportunities, but also new challenges.
“Today, any area, from finance to the electric power industry, is largely dependent on information technology, which poses certain threats. A system that could protect us from the information threat should be created not only at the national, but also at the international level. This is our common task, our common interest. Now work is in hand at this level, but it relates more to oil and gas. This experience should be extended to the electric power industry as well. Close cooperation between the European Union and Russia, strong relations, and trust in each other are of great importance in relation to this. Only in this way can we create a common security space from Lisbon to Vladivostok. This is the only way the European continent will become a safe zone for us and for future generations," said the Chairman of the shareholder committee, Nord Stream 2 AG.
“In the future, the development of digital solutions in the fuel and energy complex can not only increase reliability of energy systems and reduce production costs, but also provide an impetus for large-scale technological breakthroughs in related industries and will become a driver for the development of the entire Russian economy. Therefore, today it is very important to take advantage of the groundworks created by energy companies and the government to formulate requirements for implemented technological solutions and provide necessary security of the fuel and energy complex in the context of the science and technology development,” noted Anatoly Tikhonov, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
Peter Biryukov, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Public Utilities and Public Works of Moscow, spoke about the best practices in introducing digital technologies in the capital. “Currently a whole range of measures of introducing digital technologies has been taken in Moscow. This applies to all life support systems: heating, gas and electricity systems. Digital decisions have been made along the entire chain of operations, from the manufacturer to the consumer. We have long realized that life support systems need to be managed and have made significant progress in this subject. The administration of Moscow creates all conditions for the introduction of digital technologies. Resource supplying organizations are involved in this work. The Urban Management Center will be launched in Moscow in two and a half years. All this will help to improve the management processes of life support systems and lead to cost and technological losses reduction,” said Petr Biryukov.
Alexey Teksler, Governor of the Chelyabinsk region, touched upon the regional aspect of digital transformation. He stressed that it should be carried out throughout the electric grid region. For this, it is necessary, in particular, to continue addressing issues on the consolidation of electric networks on the basis of systemic companies. “While working in the region, I faced a problem. A number of areas where electric networks are privately owned still have serious problems with electricity reliability. It is impossible to implement digital technology individually. If one company invests heavily in automation and security while other owners do not follow technological trends, we are not going to get a development breakthrough in the fuel and energy complex. A number of local grid operators in non-metropolitan areas work inefficiently and do not invest in modernization and, certainly, in digital transformation. It is necessary to tighten the requirements for local grid operators, which will increase their work efficiency. If local grid operators do not regard these measures as a disciplining factor and we continue to record violations on their part, we should consolidate the electric networks on the basis of large systemic companies,” says Alexey Teksler.
The prospects of introducing common cyber security standards in Russia, joining forces of leading domestic companies in this area and consumer protection issues in the context of global digital transformation were also raised at the panel discussion.