DSTN Scholars

DSTN > Scholars > KPOZE Satou Aurélie Myriam

Affiliate project: CyberScada

Affiliated CEAs: University of Abomey Calavi, ACE SMIA Benin

Obafemi Awolowo University / ACE OAK-PARK

Thesis supervisor: Jules DEGILA, ACE SMIA

co-supervisor: Aderounmu Ganiyu Adesola, ACE OAK-PARK

Other contributors to thesis supervision:
Abdelkader Lahmadi, INRIA


December 10th, 2021: Award Ceremony for the DSTN Hackathon, concluding the DSTN Symposium, Saint Louis, Senegal.

DSTN > Scholars > KPOZE Satou Aurélie Myriam

Start date: 01/08/21
Anticipated date of thesis defense: December 2024
ORCID profile: 0000-0002-0280-2563

Project title: Design and optimization of smart grid SCADA architecture based on network telemetry.

Summary of scientific project: 

Industrial control systems (ICS), such as SCADA systems, are widely used in industry to automate and regulate processes. These systems rely on human-machine interfaces (HMIs) to
monitor operations, collect sensor data and control processes in sectors such as oil, gas and power. However, ICS are increasingly vulnerable to attack in today's interconnected world, not least because of connections to unsecured networks and the use of unsecured information systems and IP protocols. Traditional industrial systems, designed with minimal security in closed environments, are now exposed to the vulnerabilities of the IT world due to interconnectivity. With the rise of smart grids, which are highly digitized systems, even small flaws in SCADA systems can lead to deliberate attacks, risking system failures, material loss and personal safety. Our research aims to propose a secure SCADA architecture for Smart Grids, addressing these challenges to ensure the resilience of critical industrial processes.

Summary of results:

Following an extensive literature review including quantitative and qualitative studies [1], we carried out a risk assessment of a typical SCADA architecture in the smart grid to identify the main risks, attacks and attack vectors [2]. We then refined our contribution by proposing a new architecture based on the Software-Defined Network (SDN) paradigm. SDN is a concept in which the data plane and the control plane are decoupled, offering significant flexibility and programmability in network management and operation. We have carried out a comprehensive review of the various SDN techniques used to respond effectively to cyber attacks and guarantee the uninterrupted operation of industrial processes [3]. Our analysis covered a wide range of SDN-based security mechanisms, including intrusion detection and prevention systems, access control policies, flow-based monitoring and dynamic network reconfiguration techniques. We have developed a reconfiguration technique to mitigate Man-in-the-Middle attacks targeting a control system and affecting the synchronization of smart grids [4]. We aim to improve this algorithm by integrating Moving Target Defense (MTD) with machine learning in the SCADA architecture. MTD dynamically adjusts system configurations and network attributes in real time to increase complexity and uncertainty for potential attackers. Machine learning will refine the temporal variability of MTD.

Prospects for the end of the thesis:

By the end of the thesis, we expect to have developed a complete and secure SCADA architecture designed specifically for Smart Grid environments. This architecture will integrate Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Moving Target Defense (MTD) with Machine Learning to effectively mitigate cyber threats and ensure the resilience of critical industrial processes. Our aim is to validate the proposed architecture using simulations and potentially real-life deployments, paving the way for its adoption in smart grid deployments worldwide. In addition, we aim to contribute to the academic community by publishing our results in peer-reviewed journals and presenting them at relevant conferences. In addition, we plan to collaborate with industry players to facilitate the implementation and adoption of our proposed solution, which will have a tangible impact on the safety and reliability of smart grid SCADA systems.

Prospects after thesis completion:
After completion of the thesis, our outlook includes pursuing postdoctoral opportunities to further explore and refine the concepts developed during the research. In addition, we plan to initiate collaborative projects with industrial partners and research institutions such as INRIA to apply the proposed SCADA architecture in real-world environments and address emerging industrial cybersecurity challenges. These projects aim to contribute to the development of resilient and sustainable critical infrastructure systems.

Scientific publications :

[1] A. Kpoze, J. Degila, H. Soude and S. F. Wamba, "Smart Grid Architecture: A Bibliometric Analysis and Future Research Directions," 2022 2nd IEEE International Conference on Innovative Practices in Technology and Management (ICIPTM), 2022, pp. 441-448, doi: 10.1109/ICIPTM54933.2022.9754210.

[2] Kpoze, Aurélie & Degila, Jules & Ahouandjinou, Arnaud & Houngue, Pelagie & Soude, Henoc & Fosso Wamba, Samuel (2023). Cybersecurity Risk Assessment for Beninese Power Grid SCADA system. 320-326. doi: 10.1109/ICoCICs58778.2023.10277307.

[3] KPOZE, A., Lahmadi, A., Chrisment, I., & Degila, J. SDN-based Mitigation of Synchronization Attacks on Distributed and Cooperative Controls in Microgrid. IEEE 37th Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS) 2024, Seoul, South Korea. https://noms2024.ieee-noms.org/authors/call-demo-papers

[4] (2024).Kpoze, Aurélie & Degila, Jules & Ahouandjinou, Arnaud & Houngue, Pelagie & Soude, Henoc A Survey on Software Defined Networking-based attacks mitigation techniques in Industrial Control Systems: Challenges and Opportunities. SN Computer Science.