Methods for energy grid actors for prevention, detection and reaction against failures and attacks on the informational technology

© Fraunhofer FIT
MEDIT Kick-Off-Meeting, 14-15 November 2018, Test Center for Grid Integration and Storage Technologies in Aachen, Germany.

The electricity supply sector is facing major challenges due to the "Energiewende" and the associated digitalization. Therefore, specially adapted IT security technologies are required. Fraunhofer FIT, Fraunhofer FKIE, Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG, devolo AG, P3 Energy & Storage GmbH, KISTERS AG, RWTH Aachen University and Hochschule Bremen are therefore developing methods for energy grid actors in the BMWi project "MEDIT" for the detection, prevention and reaction to IT attacks and IT failures.

The change in power generation is leading to an increased use of information and communication technology (ICT) at the distribution grid level as well. This poses new challenges for grid operation, especially in the area of IT security, as failures or interventions at the ICT level can have a direct, serious impact on secure grid operation. The increased integration of decentralized generation units and new consumers into the electricity grid is causing an increasing number of interactions between the participating energy grid actors and grid operation. Virtual power plant operators aggregate and control generation plants, storage facilities and loads in the sense of a common electricity market and at the same time provide the system services required for grid operation. In addition, the increased use of intelligent energy meters means that end customers in both the private and commercial sectors are playing an increasingly active role in the energy market.

Development of IT security technologies for the energy sector

The aim of the BMWi research project "MEDIT" is therefore to develop technologies, concepts and methods for prevention, detection and reaction to IT attacks and IT failures specifically for energy grid actors. To investigate the interactions between ICT and energy systems and to develop special detection methods for IT attacks, an ICT energy co-simulation environment is to be set up. In the course of the project, the Center for Grid Integration at RWTH Aachen University will be expanded in the field of ICT in order to provide a realistic environment for the development of new IT security technologies. On this basis, novel methods and technologies for ICT monitoring, systems for application-related IT attack detection and reactive measures for specific security incidents can be developed, validated and realistically tested with regard to their use by various energy network actors. In addition, the effects of IT attacks and failures on the security of supply and the stability of the power grid can be evaluated within the created environment.

Aims of Fraunhofer FIT

The department "Digital Energy" of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT works in "MEDIT" mainly on the development of a co-simulation environment as well as on the identification, development and validation of methods for the detection of IT attacks in future power grids.

Suitable models are being developed for the realistic representation of future information flows among energy grid actors in order to be able to realistically map the consequences of IT attacks on the energy supply. Thus an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) will be developed, which enables detailed conclusions about coordinated attacks by correlation and evaluation of the process data of the energy system.


  • Fraunhofer FKIE
  • Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG
  • devolo AG
  • P3 Energy & Storage GmbH
  • RWTH Aachen
  • Hochschule Bremen

MEDIT is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).