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C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "A Cyber-Physical Systems-Based Checkpoint Model for Structural Controllability",
IEEE Systems Journal, vol. 12, issue 4, IEEE, pp. 3543-3554, 12/2018. DOI (I.F.: 4.463)More..


The protection of critical user-centric applications, such as Smart Grids and their monitoring systems, has become one of the most cutting-edge research areas in recent years. The dynamic complexity of their cyber-physical systems (CPSs) and their strong inter-dependencies with power systems, are bringing about a significant increase in security problems that may be exploited by attackers. These security holes may, for example, trigger the disintegration of the structural controllability properties due to the problem of non-locality, affecting, sooner or later, the provision of the essential services to end-users. One way to address these situations could be through automatic checkpoints in charge of inspecting the healthy status of the control network and its critical nature. This inspection can be subject to special mechanisms composed of trustworthy cyberphysical elements capable of detecting structural changes in the control and activating restoration procedures with support for warning. This is precisely the aim of this paper, which presents a CPSs-based checkpoint model with the capacity to manage heterogeneous replications that help ensure data redundancy, thereby guaranteeing the validity of the checkpoints. As a support to this study, a theoretical and practical analysis is addressed to show the functionality of the approach in real contexts.

Impact Factor: 4.463
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2018)

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C. Alcaraz, L. Cazorla, and J. Lopez, "Cyber-Physical Systems for Wide-Area Situational Awareness",
Cyber-Physical Systems: Foundations, Principles and Applications, no. Intelligent Data-Centric Systems, Academic Press, pp. 305 - 317, 2017. DOI More..


Abstract Cyber-physical systems (CPSs), integrated in critical infrastructures, could provide the minimal services that traditional situational awareness (SA) systems demand. However, their application in SA solutions for the protection of large control distributions against unforeseen faults may be insufficient. Dynamic protection measures have to be provided not only to locally detect unplanned deviations but also to prevent, respond, and restore from these deviations. The provision of these services as an integral part of the SA brings about a new research field known as wide-area situational awareness (WASA), highly dependent on CPSs for control from anywhere across multiple interconnections, and at any time. Thus, we review the state-of-the art of this new paradigm, exploring the different preventive and corrective measures considering the heterogeneity of CPSs, resulting in a guideline for the construction of automated WASA systems.

PDF icon 1590.pdf (544.05 KB)
C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Secure Interoperability in Cyber-Physical Systems",
Security Solutions and Applied Cryptography in Smart Grid Communications, IGI Global, USA, IGI Global, pp. 137-158, 2017. DOI More..


Transparency in control transactions under a secure network architecture is a key topic that must be discussed when aspects related to interconnection between heterogeneous cyber-physical systems (CPSs) arise. The interconnection of these systems can be addressed through an enforcement policy system responsible for managing access control according to the contextual conditions. However, this architecture is not always adequate to ensure a rapid interoperability in extreme crisis situations, and can require an interconnection strategy that permits the timely authorized access from anywhere at any time. To do this, a set of interconnection strategies through the Internet must be studied to explore the ability of control entities to connect to the remote CPSs and expedite their operations, taking into account the context conditions. This research constitutes the contribution of this chapter, where a set of control requirements and interoperability properties are identified to discern the most suitable interconnection strategies.

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C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "Safeguarding Structural Controllability in Cyber-Physical Control Systems",
The 21st European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS 2016), vol. 9879, Springer, pp. 471-489, 2016. More..


Automatic restoration of control wireless networks based on dynamic cyber-physical systems has become a hot topic in recent years, since most of their elements tend to have serious vulnerabilities that may be exploited by attackers. In fact, any exploitation may rapidly extend to the entire control network due to its problem of non-locality, where control properties of a system and its structural controllability can disintegrate over time. Unfortunately, automated self-healing processes may become costly procedures in which the reliability of the strategies and the time-critical of any recovery of the control can become key factors to re-establish the control properties in due time. This operational need is precisely the aim of this paper, in which four reachability-based recovery strategies from a thereotical point of view are proposed so as to find the best option/s in terms of optimization, robustness and complexity. To do this, new definitions related to structural controllability in relation to the type of distribution of the network and its control load capacity are given in this paper, resulting in an interesting practical study.

PDF icon 1598.pdf (606.93 KB)
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