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Journal article Open Access

Cyber Hygiene Maturity Assessment Framework for Smart Grid Scenarios

Inna Skarga-Bandurova; Igor Kotsiuba; Erkuden Rios Velasco

Cyber hygiene is a relatively new paradigm premised on the idea that organizations and stakeholders are able to achieve additional robustness and overall cybersecurity strength by implementing and following sound security practices. It is a preventive approach entailing high organizational culture and education for information cybersecurity to enhance resilience and protect sensitive data. In an attempt to achieve high resilience of Smart Grids against negative impacts caused by different types of common, predictable but also uncommon, unexpected, and uncertain threats and keep entities safe, the Secure and PrivatE smArt gRid (SPEAR) Horizon 2020 project has created an organization-wide cyber hygiene policy and developed a Cyber Hygiene Maturity assessment Framework (CHMF). This article presents the assessment framework for evaluating Cyber Hygiene Level (CHL) in relation to the Smart Grids. Complementary to the SPEAR Cyber Hygiene Maturity Model (CHMM), we propose a self-assessment methodology based on a questionnaire for Smart Grid cyber hygiene practices evaluation. The result of the assessment can be used as a cyber-health check to define countermeasures and to reapprove cyber hygiene rules and security standards and specifications adopted by the Smart Grid operator organization. The proposed methodology is one example of a resilient approach to cybersecurity. It can be applied for the assessment of the CHL of Smart Grids operating organizations with respect to a number of recommended good practices in cyber hygiene.

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