Electricité de France (F)

Profile and Expertise

EDF is one of the world’s leading pwoer utility companies, with solid positions in major European countries. It had a worldwide workforce of 158,842 people and a revenue of 65.2 billions euros in 2010. Its research and development division employs around 2,000 people with a budget of 486 M€, working on three key global energy issues: minimizing CO2 emissions through the development of alternatives to fossil fuels, bringing new technologies to our customers, and working on the security of electricity grids. Information Technologies play a key role for all these issues.

The group “computing, communication and security infrastructure” (ICCOS) of EDF R&D is a transversal group that addresses many needs of EDF R&D. It is its mission to propose telecom and mobility solutions, system architectures and their security and high-performance computing targeting the application domains of EDF. Some of the key objectives of the group are

  • To study wireless communications systems (RFID, Zigbee, WiFi, WiMAX, LTE, etc.) and to validate their use for EDF, taking into account certain constraints (electromagnetic compatibility in industrial environments, cybersecurity, etc),
  • To propose innovative system architectures and mobility solutions, and to prototype these solutions,
  • To conceive secure communication infrastructures and to evaluate the level of confidence of these and existing infrastructures,
  • To represent EDF in international committees (IAEA, IEC SC45A and TC57WG15, CIGRE, etc) for the standardisation of critical infrastructures.

Main tasks

EDF will be active in most of the work packages. EDF will be contribute several uses cases to the project based on its experience in electrical power plants and networks. Several use cases will be specified, with a thorough elicitation of safety and security-related requirements.

Many infrastructure projects within EDF have lifetimes from 10 to 40 years: it must be possible to define mechanisms that allow upgrading security/safety to take into account an evolving threat environment all along these lifetimes. As a matter of a consequence, an important issue for EDF is the longevity of the security and safety solutions that are developed. Closely related to the lifetime issue, the integration of adapted security and safety mechanisms in legacy and close environments is also a strong need in the power industry environment, which will be reflected in SESAMO use-cases.

The security of a system in terms of its communications can not be separated from the safety of the system that is implemented over it. This is of particular importance in an industrial environment where there is a possible risk to human life associated with faults in the system. EDF will propose a methodology to treat the compromise between the functional and cyber-security of the system. Also, another important issue for EDF is the longevity of the security solutions that are developed. Many infrastructure projects within EDF have lifetimes from 10 to 40 years, and it must be possible to define mechanisms that allow upgrading security/safety to take into account an evolving threat environment.

EDF is an active member of a number of international standards bodies and working groups such as IEC TC57, IEC SC45A, CIGRE, IAEA, etc. EDF will contribute to ensure that the relevant work on SESAMO will be disseminate and used in the relevant bodies.

Relevant Experience

EDF has significant previous experience in the cyber security of industrial systems, and is an active participant in a number of international standards bodies and working groups such as IEC TC57 WG15 (cybersecurity for the power grid), IEC SC45A (safety instrumentation and control for nuclear power plants), CIGRE D2.22 and D.31 (security for power utilities), IAEA, etc. This security experience will be applied to the SESAMO project and its scenarios. EDF also has previous experience in the prototyping and development of security mechanisms for industrial information systems. It has a previously developed security prototyping platform including a number of industrial automation and monitoring systems that can be used in the prototyping tasks of the SESAMO project. There is currently common work at EDF R&D between different department (industrial risks, safety systems, information security) on the interrelationship between safety and security. This has also been a focus of a thesis at Telecom ParisTech and EDF.