Cybersecurity of European energy systems is threatened due to major trends in our energy systems: First, taking the integration of markets and coordination needs, Europe is aiming for a fully integrated internal energy market, where real-time markets will function with high volumes. This will entail cross-border coordination and increased data exchange when the functioning of new types of actors (e.g., prosumers) needs to be managed. This will be a challenge for security as continuous security analyses are required. Second, there is a movement towards decentralized renewable energy production. In decentralized energy systems, the distribution systems will have a critical role with respect to security. Third, taking the application of digitized solutions in energy systems, the issue is that components of electricity grids such as electricity generators and distribution networks to smart meters in homes will be more and more connected on the Internet of Things (IoTs) and all these devices can be attacked. As energy systems will adopt emerging information technologies such as mobile Internet, cloud computing attackers have new attack surfaces to exploit.
Cybercriminals have become aware of this and there has been a massive increase in the number of successful cyber attacks. Especially electricity networks such as smart grids interconnect a vast amount of users and energy transmission systems. Therefore, a single disturbance may propagate widespread negative effects. To summarize, we are proceeding to the age of the smart, decentralized, and interconnected energy system with great benefits and possibilities for new energy services but with new problems with respect to cybersecurity. Currently, we have experienced increased negative effects of cyber crimes in energy systems as well as society and the energy industry suffers from a lack of cybersecurity professionals.