The EU’s critical infrastructure, including railways, is increasingly threatened by cyber-physical attacks and natural hazards. The mentioned topic came to the fore even more after the start of the war in Ukraine. The international European project PRECINCT (“Preparedness and Resilience Enforcement for Critical INfrastructure Cascading Cyberphysical Threats and effects with focus on district or regional protection”) started in autumn 2021 and deals with the security of critical infrastructure.

The international consortium includes 40 partners from 12 countries, among which the Slovenian Railways and its subsidiaries SŽ-Infrastruktur and the Transport Institute are also participating in the project. The project coordinator is INLECOM from Ireland.

The goal of the PRECINCT project is to connect private and public information technology stakeholders in a geographic area with a common cyber and physical security management approach that will bring adequate mechanisms of sufficient protection to citizens and infrastructure. The project will introduce the concept of smart resilient environments, which will be developed in four living laboratories. The cascading effects will be discussed through various scenarios that will simulate threats in multimodal transport, energy, water supply and information and communication technologies, or telecommunications. These critical infrastructures are based on interdependent and interconnected environments that span cyber physical and hybrid threat scenarios.

The project addresses the comprehensive management of cyber-physical security, including public-private partnerships, and the search for ways to achieve harmony between the organization of society and economic development. It will be important to achieve an optimal balance between risk, cost and security and resilience requirements. In the future, this will provide an adequate basis for informing about tactical and strategic investment options in each area. To this end, PRECINCT will build on recent and advanced critical infrastructure approaches in four proposed realistic (living) laboratories. The project will provide a model-driven and inclusive cyber-physical security and resilience management platform for smart and resilient regions.

The main deliverables of the project will include (1) A PRECINCT Framework Specification for the Systematic Management of Security and Resilience of Critical Infrastructures that meets industry requirements obtained from interested stakeholders in living labs and incorporates new insights from EU reference projects. (2) A collaborative cyber-physical security and resilience management platform that collaborates across institutions and enables stakeholders to develop AI-enabled PRECINCT ecosystems and support services for greater resilience. (3) Vulnerability assessment tool that uses simulation tools to play out scenarios that allow identification of potential vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to cascading effects and to identify improvements in resilience at the level of each individual critical infrastructure and coordinated measures. (4) PRECINCT digital twins to represent the topology and metadata of critical infrastructures corresponding to relevant dependency profiles, using closed-loop machine learning (ML) to detect anomalies and warning conditions and to optimize the activation of response and mitigation measures and automated forensics. (5) Smart PRECINCT ecosystems deployed in four large living laboratories and transferability validation demonstrators will provide measurement-based evidence of targeted benefits. (6) PRECINCT’s sustainability impacts, including capacity building, scaling up, exploitation, resilience strategy, and policy and standardization recommendations.

The Slovenian partners of the project are the Municipality of Ljubljana with the City Police, Telekom Slovenia, Elektro Ljubljana, Slovenian Railways, Ljubljana Passenger Transport (LPP), Institute of Traffic and Transport and the Institute for Corporate Security Studies.

In Ljubljana, a simulation of physical and cyber attack in Ljubljana railway station area will be simulated in test environment.  As part of the project, scenarios will be analyzed and notification and action procedures will be simulated in the event of an event.

More information about the project: