ENCS exists because we recognised that, as exciting as the transition to a cleaner, smarter European energy grid is, cyber security practices in the sector weren’t keeping pace. As a non-profit, we’re here to help improve smart grid cyber security – for our members and Europe as a whole (more on ENCS’ origins here).

That’s why we’re working at the highest national and international levels to represent our members and help lead Europe towards a more cyber secure grid. Currently, we’re working on two key top-level initiatives.

The Smart Grids Task Force Working Group on Cyber Security

Following its ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ communication, the European Commission (EC) established a number of stakeholder working groups under the Smart Grid Task Force, including one on energy specific cyber security. The Cyber Security Working Group consist of nominated experts designated by associations participating in the Smart Grid Task Force.

As a member of that working group – alongside partners EDSO and ENTSO-E – ENCS is advising on a new network code for cyber security in the electricity sector, with final results due to be reported by the Commission by the end of 2018.

ENCS’ involvement in the working group is a prime example of our work to secure Europe’s grids.

Partnering with Netbeheer Nederland on Dutch NIS implementation

The EU’s Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS) provides the legal instrument at European level for boosting the overall standard of cyber security in the energy sector. Having entered into force in August 2016, the directive gave member states 21 months to implement it into national law.

21 months isn’t a long time in regulatory terms, but is an age in terms of cyber security – the hackers don’t wait. As such, rather than wait to see what the regulator eventually demanded of the sector, Netbeheer Nederland (NBNL) – the Dutch association for network operators decided to get proactive.

NBNL then invited ENCS to work as a partner and provide cyber security expertise to the project. The plan is to create an industry-led set of recommendations for cyber security best practice when implementing NIS into Dutch law as effectively, smoothly and quickly as possible.

At ENCS, we hope to take the lessons learned from this pioneering project to help other organisations and member states make their own NIS transition in future.

Both initiatives will help set the standard for European power grid cyber security, and we’re proud to be contributing the expertise and experience of our organisation and members to those conversations.