Scalable security foundation for critical infrastructures (KRITEX)

In a time in which the demands of climate policy result in the expansion of renewable energies and the development of innovative electricity applications (such as e-mobility), digital, predominantly automated processes must be controlled efficiently and quickly. The highly fluctuating demand for power requires intelligent power grids that secure society's long-term dependence on energy. At the same time, critical infrastructures have increasingly been the focus of attackers for several years. In addition to the financial benefits (e.g. through successful blackmail), the various possibilities for concealment increase the attractiveness of attacks on critical infrastructures. Although the advantages of digital networking seem predominate, it leads to a disproportionate increase in the attack surface and vulnerability to already existing weaknesses in the IT security foundation.

For this reason, the research project KRITEX (Skalierendes Sicherheitsfundament für Kritische Infrastrukturen) used a multilevel security operating system that is capable of segregation and scalability to research and design requirements for a segregation model that can contribute to risk reduction at utility companies across security boundaries. The systematic subsumability of legal requirements associated with the multi-level capability is intended to increase the effectiveness of the legal design required for the protection of critical infrastructures.

The Chair for Public Law, IT Law and Environmental Law at the University of Kassel was responsible for carrying out the necessary legal analyses. Based on the status quo of sector-specific IT security law, a proposal was drafted to increase the protection requirements in order to develop plannable solutions for energy supply companies that can be replicated at any time. In addition, the data protection requirements for the technical and organisational design of the project were examined.

The project was coordinated by QGroup GmbH. BearingPoint GmbH, the law firm Becker Büttner Held and Städtische Werke Netz + Service GmbH Kassel supported the project as associated partners. The House of Energy ensured that the project results are anchored at a broad professional and public level.

Project information

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

July 2021 - June 2023

Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Gerrit Hornung, LL.M.

Till Schaller