Special Issue "Critical Infrastructures Cybersecurity and Resilience"

A special issue of Signals (ISSN 2624-6120).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Vasileios Gkioulos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, Norwegian University of Science Technology (NTNU), P.O. Box 191, N-2802 Gjøvik, Norway
Interests: critical infrastructure cyber security; information and communication systems security; cyber physical systems security; systems of systems security; network security; security awareness
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Marios Anagnostopoulos
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Center for Cyber and Information Security, Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2802 Gjøvik, Norway
Interests: ICT security and privacy; DNS security
Dr. Sandeep Pirbhulal
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Norsk Regnesentral (Norwegian Computing Center, NR), 0373 Oslo, Norway
Interests: network security; wireless communication; IoT; critical infrastructures; wireless sensor networks
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Georgios Spathoulas
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
1. Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics, University of Thessaly, 382 21 Volos, Greece
2. Norsk Regnesentral (Norwegian Computing Center, NR), 0373 Oslo, Norway
Interests: security; intrusion detection; privacy blockchain
Dr. Ajay Nehra
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Information Technology Kota, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302017, India
Interests: information security; network security; software defined; networking; malware analysis; software piracy

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Critical Infrastructures are defined as “assets, systems or part thereof which are essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions, health, safety, security, economic or social well-being of people, and the disruption or destruction of which would have a significant impact as a result of the failure to maintain those functions.” Critical Infrastructures refer to a multitude of sectors, including energy, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and public safety. Systems deployed within these sectors integrate both information technologies and operational technologies, being commonly reliant on legacy industrial control and cyberphysical systems. Nevertheless, novel disruptive and enabling information and communication technologies are increasingly integrated, increasing connectivity and interdependencies, thus presenting security professionals with significant challenges in maintaining and enhancing the security and resilience of such infrastructures. This Special Issue invites submissions that present innovative ideas, proof of concepts, use cases, and results from a variety of topics relevant to critical infrastructure cybersecurity and resilience, including (but not limited to) the following ones:

Security Governance

  • Security policies
  • Risk analysis and management
  • Vulnerability assessment and metrics
  • Awareness, training, and simulation
  • ICS/CPS security standards
  • Privacy and Anonymity in ICS/CPS

System and Network Security

  • Threat modeling
  • Security architectures
  • Access control
  • Malware and cyber weapons
  • Intrusion detection and visualization
  • Defense in depth
  • Monitoring and real-time supervision
  • Applied cryptography
  • Perimeter security
  • Safety-security interactions
  • Cybersecurity engineering
  • Secure communication protocols
  • Formal models for ICS/CPS security
  • Hardware Security
  • Resilient ICS/CPS
  • Application Security
  • Secure Firmware

Incident Response and Digital Forensics for ICS/CPS

  • Forensics in ICS
  • Incident Response
  • Accountability

Case Studies

  • Case studies in the energy, utility, chemical, transportation, manufacturing, and other industrial and critical infrastructure sectors

Please note that all of the submitted papers must be within the general scope of the Signals journal.

Dr. Vasileios Gkioulos
Dr. Marios Anagnostopoulos
Dr. Sandeep Pirbhulal
Dr. Georgios Spathoulas
Dr. Ajay Nehra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Signals is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
CS Measures for Nuclear Power Plant Protection: A Systematic Literature Review
Signals 2021, 2(4), 803-819; https://doi.org/10.3390/signals2040046 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
As digital instrumentation in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) is becoming increasingly complex, both attack vectors and defensive strategies are evolving based on new technologies and vulnerabilities. Continued efforts have been made to develop a variety of measures for the cyber defense of these [...] Read more.
As digital instrumentation in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) is becoming increasingly complex, both attack vectors and defensive strategies are evolving based on new technologies and vulnerabilities. Continued efforts have been made to develop a variety of measures for the cyber defense of these infrastructures, which often consist in adapting security measures previously developed for other critical infrastructure sectors according to the requirements of NPPs. That being said, due to the very recent development of these solutions, there is a lack of agreement or standardization when it comes to their adoption at an industrial level. To better understand the state of the art in NPP Cyber-Security (CS) measures, in this work, we conduct a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to identify scientific papers discussing CS frameworks, standards, guidelines, best practices, and any additional CS protection measures for NPPs. From our literature analysis, it was evidenced that protecting the digital space in NPPs involves three main steps: (i) identification of critical digital assets; (ii) risk assessment and threat analysis; (iii) establishment of measures for NPP protection based on the defense-in-depth model. To ensure the CS protection of these infrastructures, a holistic defense-in-depth approach is suggested in order to avoid excessive granularity and lack of compatibility between different layers of protection. Additional research is needed to ensure that such a model is developed effectively and that it is based on the interdependencies of all security requirements of NPPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Infrastructures Cybersecurity and Resilience)
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Review
Towards Integration of Security and Safety Measures for Critical Infrastructures Based on Bayesian Networks and Graph Theory: A Systematic Literature Review
Signals 2021, 2(4), 771-802; https://doi.org/10.3390/signals2040045 - 02 Nov 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
In recent times, security and safety are, at least, conducted in safety-sensitive or critical sectors. Nevertheless, both processes do not commonly analyze the impact of security risks on safety. Several scholars are focused on integrating safety and security risk assessments, using different methodologies [...] Read more.
In recent times, security and safety are, at least, conducted in safety-sensitive or critical sectors. Nevertheless, both processes do not commonly analyze the impact of security risks on safety. Several scholars are focused on integrating safety and security risk assessments, using different methodologies and tools in critical infrastructures (CIs). Bayesian networks (BN) and graph theory (GT) have received much attention from academia and industries to incorporate security and safety features for different CI applications. Hence, this study aims to conduct a systematic literature review (SLR) for co-engineering safety and security using BN or GT. In this SLR, the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses recommendations (PRISMA) are followed. Initially, 2295 records (acquired between 2011 and 2020) were identified for screening purposes. Later on, 240 articles were processed to check eligibility criteria. Overall, this study includes 64 papers, after examining the pre-defined criteria and guidelines. Further, the included studies were compared, regarding the number of required nodes for system development, applied data sources, research outcomes, threat actors, performance verification mechanisms, implementation scenarios, applicability and functionality, application sectors, advantages, and disadvantages for combining safety, and security measures, based on GT and BN. The findings of this SLR suggest that BN and GT are used widely for risk and failure management in several domains. The highly focused sectors include studies of the maritime industry (14%), vehicle transportation (13%), railway (13%), nuclear (6%), chemical industry (6%), gas and pipelines (5%), smart grid (5%), network security (5%), air transportation (3%), public sector (3%), and cyber-physical systems (3%). It is also observed that 80% of the included studies use BN models to incorporate safety and security concerns, whereas 15% and 5% for GT approaches and joint GT and BN methodologies, respectively. Additionally, 31% of identified studies verified that the developed approaches used real-time implementation, whereas simulation or preliminary analysis were presented for the remaining methods. Finally, the main research limitations, concluding remarks and future research directions, are presented Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Infrastructures Cybersecurity and Resilience)
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