“Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure is now the norm, not a trend,” says Dr. Evangelos Ouzounis, Head of Unit – Secure Infrastructure and Services, European Union Agency for Network and Information Security. At the recent Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience, Europe (CIPRE) event, leading stakeholders from across Europe and indeed around the world once again came together in The Hague to learn, discuss and debate some of the crucial issues and threats facing all nations, in ensuring the normal functioning of critical infrastructure in the face of increased threats of terrorism and crime, as well as natural and manmade disasters.
The deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure by criminals, foreign powers and terrorists is now a fact of modern life. Our vulnerability to this kind of hostile activity is only going to increase as we depend more and more on information technology to manage these systems.
So whether it is physical threats, like the sniper attack that knocked out a substation in California and the deliberate sabotage of the Doel 4 nuclear reactor in Belgium, or cyber attacks, the numbers are now too numerous to list. And according to CIPRE, with McAfee estimating that the global cost of cybercrime 2014 to be somewhere between 350 bn € – 500 bn €, what is needed, is a holistic approach to infrastructure security. CIPRE’s unique format with its theme of convergence provides the platform to promote that holistic approach.