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2019
C. Alcaraz, "Security and Privacy Trends in the Industrial Internet of Things",
Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications, Springer, 2019. More..
2015
C. Alcaraz, and S. Zeadally, "Critical Infrastructure Protection: Requirements and Challenges for the 21st Century",
International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection (IJCIP), vol. 8, Elsevier Science, pp. 53–66, 01/2015. DOI (I.F.: 1.351)More..

Abstract

Critical infrastructures play a vital role in supporting modern society. The reliability, performance, continuous operation, safety, maintenance and protection of critical infrastructures are national priorities for countries around the world. This paper explores the vulnerabilities and threats facing modern critical infrastructures with special emphasis on industrial control systems, and describes a number of protection measures. The paper also discusses some of the challenging areas related to critical infrastructure protection such as governance and security management, secure network architectures, self-healing, modeling and simulation, wide-area situational awareness, forensics and learning, and trust management and privacy.

Impact Factor: 1.351
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

PDF icon alcaraz2015CRI.pdf (4.03 MB)
2012
C. Alcaraz, G. Fernandez, and F. Carvajal, "Security Aspects of SCADA and DCS Environments",
Critical Infrastructure Protection: Information Infrastructure Models, Analysis, and Defense, J. Lopez, S.. Wolthunsen, and R. Setola Eds., Advances in Critical Infrastructure Protection: Information Infrastructure Models, Analysis, and Defense. LNCS 7130. 7130, Springer-Verlag, pp. 120-149, September 2012. More..

Abstract

SCADA Systems can be seen as a fundamental component in Critical Infrastructures, having an impact in the overall performance of other Critical Infrastructures interconnected. Currently, these systems include in their network designs different types of Information and Communication Technology systems (such as the Internet and wireless technologies), not only to modernize operational processes but also to ensure automation and real-time control. Nonetheless, the use of these new technologies will bring new security challenges, which will have a significant impact on both the business process and home users. Therefore, the main purpose of this Chapter is to address these issues and to analyze the interdependencies of Process Control Systems with ICT systems, to discuss some security aspects and to offer some possible solutions and recommendations.

PDF icon BC2011Alcaraz.pdf (683.38 KB)
2011
C. Alcaraz, C. Fernandez-Gago, and J. Lopez, "An Early Warning System based on Reputation for Energy Control Systems",
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 2, no. 4, IEEE, pp. 827-834, Nov 2011. DOI More..

Abstract

Most of energy control or SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems are very dependent on advanced technologies and on traditional security mechanisms for protecting the a system against anomalous events. Security mechanisms are not enough to be used in critical systems, since they can only detect anomalous events occurring at a certain moment in time. For this reason it becomes of paramount importance the usage of intelligent systems with capability for preventing anomalous situations and reacting against them on time. This type of systems are, for example, Early Warning Systems (EWS). In this paper, we propose an EWS based on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) (under the ISA100.11a standard) and reputation for controling the network behaviour. The WSN are organized into clusters where a Cluster Head (CH) is designated. This CH will contain a Reputation Manager Module. The usability of this approach is also analyzed considering a Smart Grid scenario.} keywords = {Critical Information Infrastructures, Sensor Networks, Early Warning Systems, Reputation, SCADA Systems, Smart Grid.

PDF icon Alcaraz2011.pdf (495.57 KB)
C. Alcaraz, I. Agudo, D. Nuñez, and J. Lopez, "Managing Incidents in Smart Grids à la Cloud",
IEEE CloudCom 2011, IEEE Computer Society, pp. 527-531, Nov-Dec 2011. DOI More..

Abstract

During the last decade, the Cloud Computing paradigm has emerged as a panacea for many problems in traditional IT infrastructures. Much has been said about the potential of Cloud Computing in the Smart Grid context, but unfortunately it is still relegated to a second layer when it comes to critical systems. Although the advantages of outsourcing those kind of applications to the cloud is clear, data confidentiality and operational privacy stand as mayor drawbacks. In this paper, we try to give some hints on which security mechanisms and more specific, which cryptographic schemes, will help a better integration of Smart Grids and Clouds. We propose the use of Virtual SCADA in the Cloud (VS-Cloud) as a mean to improve reliability and efficiency whilst maintaining the same protection level as in traditional SCADA architectures.

 

PDF icon 1643.pdf (272.71 KB)
C. Alcaraz, J. Lopez, J. Zhou, and R. Roman, "Secure SCADA Framework for the Protection of Energy Control Systems",
Concurrency and Computation Practice & Experience, vol. 23, no. 12, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 1414-1430, Aug 2011. DOI (I.F.: 0.636)More..

Abstract

Energy distribution systems are becoming increasingly widespread in today’s society. One of the elements that is used to monitor and control these systems are the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. In particular, these control systems and their complexities, together with the emerging use of the Internet and wireless technologies, bring new challenges that must be carefully considered. Examples of such challenges are the particular bene¯ts of the integration of those new technologies, and also the e®ects they may have on the overall SCADA security. The main task of this paper is to provide a framework that shows how the integration of di®erent state-of-the-art technologies in an energy control system, such as Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks (MANETs), and the Internet, can bring some interesting benefits such as status management and anomaly prevention, while maintaining the security of the whole system.

Impact Factor: 0.636
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

PDF icon Alcaraz2011a.pdf (908.82 KB)
2010
C. Alcaraz, A. Balastegui, and J. Lopez, "Early Warning System for Cascading Effect Control in Energy Control Systems",
5th International conference on Critical Information Infrastructures Security (CRITIS’10), LNCS 6712, Springer, pp. 55-67, September, 2010. More..

Abstract

A way of controlling a cascading effect caused by a failure or a threat in a critical system is using intelligent mechanisms capable of predicting anomalous behaviours and also capable of reacting against them in advance. These mechanisms are known as Early Warning Systems (EWS) and this will be precisely the main topic of this paper. Specially, we present an EWS design based on a Wireless Sensor Network (using the ISA100.11a standard) that constantly supervise the application context. This EWS is also based on forensic techniques to provide dynamic learning capacities. As a result, this new approach will aid to provide a reliable control of incidences by offering a dynamic alarm management, identification of the most suitable field operator to attend an alarm, reporting of causes and responsible operators, and learning from new anomalous situations.

PDF icon Alcaraz2010b.pdf (5.6 MB)
C. Alcaraz, and J. Lopez, "A Security Analysis for Wireless Sensor Mesh Networks in Highly Critical Systems",
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, vol. 40, no. 4, IEEE, pp. 419-428, July, 2010. DOI (I.F.: 2.105)More..

Abstract

Nowadays, critical control systems are a fundamental component contributing to the overall performance of critical infrastructures in our society, most of which belong to the industrial sector. These complex systems include in their design different types of information and communication technology systems, such as wireless (mesh) sensor networks, to carry out control processes in real time. This fact has meant that several communication standards, such as Zigbee PRO, WirelessHART, and ISA100.11a, have been specified to ensure coexistence, reliability, and security in their communications. The main purpose of this paper has been to review these three standards and analyze their security. We have identified a set of threats and potential attacks in their routing protocols, and we consequently provide recommendations and countermeasures to help Industry protect its infrastructures.

Impact Factor: 2.105
Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Thomson Reuters, 2010)

PDF icon Alcaraz2010a.pdf (557 KB)