Operators of critical infrastructures
Critical infrastructures play an essential role in our society and economy. They provide fundamental services such as energy and water supply, waste disposal, transport and public transport. To ensure the availability and reliability of these services, secure communication is required. Critical infrastructure operators face several challenges when it comes to their communication systems: protection against cyber-attacks, ensuring of availability and reliability, complying with security standards and regulations as well as the protection of sensitive information.
Cyber security – protection against constant threats
Critical infrastructures are highly attractive targets for cyber-criminals and state-supported actors. This is because a successful attack on these can have considerable effects on national security, the economy and society. One challenge lies in protecting communications systems and infrastructures from various types of cyber-attacks like malware, phishing, ransomware and zero-day exploits. These pose important questions: how can we make critical infrastructures less vulnerable to cyber-attacks? What does attack recognition mean and how can it be realised? What ideas and solutions exist for the implementation of emergency communication?
Availability and reliability
Communication systems in critical infrastructures must be available and reliable around the clock. Challenges here can include hardware or software failures, network failures or other technical problems that can impair communications. Robust communications systems and processes as well as innovative technologies and solutions are required to communicate quickly and efficiently, internally and externally, even in emergency situations, and to ensure permanent availability.
Protection of sensitive information
Operators of critical infrastructures often process sensitive information such as personal data of customers or business data that must be protected against unauthorised access. With solutions like encoding, access control and monitoring of communications channels, communications systems can be designed in such a way that they ensure the protection of sensitive information.