Terna has always tackled the vulnerabilities of the electrical system and critical infrastructure by applying the latest solutions and a high level of technical and organisational skills, which are reflected in the internal processes and systems, as well as in the procedures and instructions applicable to all operators participating in Italy’s National Electrical System.

In order to meet the increasing need for security, Terna set itself the goal of significantly enhancing the organisation’s security mechanisms and defining a broad-based system for identifying, analysing and monitoring Company risks.

In particular, security efforts are aimed at protecting the Company’s physical and technological infrastructures, in part through efforts aimed at preventing and handling corporate fraud. For the real-time monitoring and management of critical issues affecting critical infrastructures, Terna has created a Security Operations Centre (SOC) that is able to tackle and manage critical situations.
Terna’s security unit adopts the latest best practices in the areas of critical infrastructure protection and security, which are also in line with the current regulatory framework recently introduced in Europe.

Security Operations Centre

In 2011, the number of operative company sites monitored for break-ins and by video-surveillance systems increased significantly, thus now covering most of the most sensitive sites as specified in the agreement with the Ministry of Interior.
In addition to these, we also have the areas involved by sites, which are monitored by systems that can be relocated, also referred to as VideoBoxes.
In particular, jointly with the Carabinieri police force, the portal “Terna - Control Centre Carabinieri” has been improved to allow for the complete integration of the Terna control centre and that of the Carabinieri.
Through this portal, information, images and videos can be exchanged in real time between the control room and the Carabinieri patrol, equipped with “EVA” devices, sending the records from the monitoring room of the control centre, or the data collected on field by the patrols, thereby allowing for a rapid exchange of information in the event of a break-in.
With regard to the monitoring of information security, in 2011 company ICT resources were integrated further (servers, management platforms, etc.) onto the Security Information and Event Management system devoted to monitoring and relating security events on ICT resources. More specifically, 2011 saw the start-up of the Information Security Incidents Management process, in compliance with international standards such as ISO 27001.
The office of company Registration Authority was also consolidated, through which security services are supplied such as the issue of electronic signature digital certificates via the company platform, digital signature services and certified e-mail, with the use of systems external to the company (Infocert) in addition to services managing applicative qualifications.
These services are in addition to the now consolidated monitoring of spam and viruses on company resources. More specifically, in 2011 it was possible to introduce the new technique for managing e-mail spam. This technique has enabled the management and control of approximately 25 million spam e-mails addressed to Terna e-mail domains.


Risk Management

Electricity market risk management

In order to analyse the main risks relating to the electricity market, Terna uses an application called SIMM (Security Index Market Monitor), which represents the key performance indicators (KPIs) that allow us to have an overview of the high level of the trend of the electricity market and to readily identify any differences from the threshold limits established in order to analyse potential critical issues and risks.
Additionally, with its Resolution no. 115/08 (“TIMM”) regarding the monitoring of the Wholesale Energy and Market for Dispatching Services, the Authority for Electricity and Gas defined the general principles and criteria of market monitoring for the companies Terna, GME and GSE, calling for each of these companies to establish a specific monitoring office.
Electricity market risk management is Terna’s monitoring unit, which is responsible for the TIMM data warehouse and sees to the acquisition, organisation and storage of data in order to monitor the volumes and indicators related to the Market for Dispatching Services.
The activity in question is particularly important under the scope of the Terna incentives scheme envisaged by Authority Resolution no. 213/09 in relation to the procurement of resources for the dispatching service.
In 2011, new developments were implemented on the TIMM following the 2011 reform of the Market for Dispatching Services, which entailed a major review of the TIMM and which were successfully completed within the terms envisaged.

Electricity system risk management

Terna is responsible for the efficient, effective and coordinated operation of the entire electrical system, even if it only directly manages the National Transmission Grid. It therefore follows that the share of internal vulnerability, mainly a function of the reliability of the systems and components, can be associated with additional threats due to the inadequate function of the plants connected that are not managed by Terna. The action taken to maintain risk levels at acceptable values is therefore twofold and it uses both investigation and diagnostic tools on electrical system equipment, to prevent failures on the basis of plant monitoring and the monitoring of events observed, and the supervision of the onset of any exogenous events such as breach of the Network Code by plants connected to the National Transmission Grid. Recently, the connection of plants with innovative characteristics, such as those with non-programmable renewable sources, not entirely regulated by the Network Code has required: analyses, studies and agreements with constructors, producers and distribution companies to ensure conditions that will result in amendments and supplements to Terna’s instructions for the secure connection to the transmission grid.

Fraud Management

In 2011, the Fraud Management Unit continued with its control of company fraud, taking all actions needed to prevent its occurrence. Under this scope, the company has implemented specific procedure for certain critical processes, which are able to define management methods and criteria focussed on maximising efficiency and effectiveness and preventing unlawful conduct. Together with the activities involved in preventing crime, the Fraud Management Unit also carried out:

  • activities to support the Company’s other units, such as in the analysis and assessment of counterparties, so as to limit the risks deriving from transactions with others;
  • compliance activities focusing on cooperating with and supporting the Company’s management and its various offices, aimed at ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, procedures, codes of conduct, and best practices, as well as at reducing and/or preventing the risk of sanctions and safeguarding the Company’s image.

Supplier qualification

Terna uses a business qualification system instituted in accordance with European Community Directives (Italian Legislative Decree no. 163/2006 “Code of contracts for public works, services and supplies” as subsequently amended and supplemented) for all main core segments of supplies, works and services.
In 2011, in compliance with the provisions of Italian Legislative Decree no. 205 of 3 December 2010 as subsequently amended and supplemented, incorporating the regulation of the waste traceability system - SISTRI - the supplier qualification unit created a new merchandising sector called “Waste management”, which defines the technical and qualitative requirements that businesses must meet in order to be qualified and included on the list of suppliers. The activity in question concerns the collection, transport, storage, recovery and disposal of special hazardous and non-hazardous waste produced by Terna.
Another important project begun in 2011 by the Supplier qualification unit concerned the creation of a single portal called UPQ - Unification of Qualification Portals, including two systems currently used, the AQF portal for the management of qualification applications and PQI, relating to staff training, as well as a newly developed section devoted to business monitoring.
Additionally, in collaboration with the Safety unit, the Supervision unit on the Organisational Model, under Legislative Decree 231/2001, the Management and Fraud Systems Supervision unit, activity has been undertaken concerning the inspection of Terna sites, in order to assess the correct action of the businesses on the list. Following the results of checks carried out at Terna sites, the need has arisen to populate the Roll of Professionals, with specific reference to the merchandising segment “Security-related appointments”, relating to the professional figures of Coordinators for the design and execution of works (CSP and CSE).
Finally, in implementing a constant compliance with safety in the workplace, the obligation by the businesses to present the certificates relating to the training of professional figures such as the accident prevention and protection service manager (RSPP, Responsabile del Servizio di prevenzione e protezione) and the workers’ safety representative (RLS) has been introduced in both the general regulations on the portal and included among the basic requirements for qualification.


Monitoring of the Organisational Model under Legislative Decree 231/2001

In 2011, following the introduction of environmental crimes as new crimes envisaged under the scope of Legislative Decree 231/2001, the assessment of “environmental risks” has been started and concluded (through the evaluation of the reference legislation - Italian Legislative Decree no. 121/2011 - the as-is gap analysis, the interviews with the management, the identification of areas at risk and connected with risk activities and the assessment of the internal control system). Following these activities, the new special part of the model was prepared in relation to the environmental crimes both for Terna S.p.A. and for its subsidiaries SunTergrid and Terna Rete Italia (formerly TELAT).
Terna also belongs to a work group established to adapt the Confindustria Guidelines to the new demands of the businesses and, by virtue of this, to enable a correct interpretation and application of the regulations on environmental crimes.
In training/information terms, the sensitisation campaign calibrated according to the areas at “risk of crime” has been concluded, in which everyone finds themselves operating; a “Manual on the Organisational and Management Model” has been prepared and diffused, intended for Terna S.p.A. staff, in order to encourage a simplified reading of the Model that, however, is also complete in its fundamental elements; in collaboration with the other management areas (Safety, Qualification, Monitoring of Fraud Management Systems), activity was then undertaken concerning the inspection of sites in order to guarantee an all-round analysis of documentation by means of the preparation of specific check-lists and the assessment of all probable effects under the scope of Legislative Decree 231 and suggesting any possible corrective action.


Control of Management Systems

In 2011, through an audit by the Certifying Body (IMQ), Terna obtained certifications UNI EN ISO 9001:2008, UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 and BS OHSAS 18001:2007.
On 14 September 2011, Terna also obtained ISO/IEC 27001:2005 certification of the TIMM (Integrated Text for the Monitoring of the Electricity Market) applications and the Management Systems Monitoring unit contributed to the project, implementing and managing its business.
In 2011, to comply with recent applicable legislation, support was begun for the ISO/IEC 17025 certification of the calibration and test laboratories for the equipment used in powered works.
In the environmental field, a work group was instituted with a view to implementing an energy management system compliant with standard ISO 50001:2001 by means of which the company will be able to implement the processes necessary to analyse the consumption of energy, activate plans, objectives and energy performance indicators to reduce consumption and identify opportunities by which to improve energy performance. Subsequently the opportunity will be assessed of having an external body certify the energy management system implemented.


Physical security

Terna has established new surveillance and protection systems that are in line with their importance to the functioning of the electrical system and suited to the number and type of actual or potential threats they are designed to face.
With this goal, and for the first time in Italy, Terna has adopted risk assessment methodology for each of the stations concerned in order to analyse the related physical risk - concerning both actual and potential attacks - and electrical risk. Based on the “role” that each system plays in the functioning of the national electrical system, determined by assigning a risk index to each station based on their respective critical importance, a long-term action plan has been developed.
The project, which began in 2009, today sees 102 electrical stations equipped with anti break-in and video surveillance systems. The anti break-in dual technology systems come in addition to 60 VideoBox systems set up to protect the material deposit areas circumscribed within the power stations. Additionally, the T-Guardian project is currently being completed, which consists of supplying those on call with a palmtop and software enabling them to connect, in the event of an alarm, with the sites concerned and interface on-line with the police force for all relevant intervention.


Information security

In terms of activities carried out to improve the security of the “company computer systems and information” and to align with the obligations and dynamics of the applicable legislative framework, which evolves continuously, in 2011 the main initiatives concerned not only a further campaign stage for the diffused growth of awareness and sensitivity, but also (i) the move from an “events” based approach to a systematic action in making effective verifications available on ICT security proceedings applied to systems and (ii) the strategic goal of certification ISO/IEC 27001, scope of challenge and comparison with the world’s most popular international standard in terms of information security.
Able to rely on an internal regulatory framework in terms of complete, detailed rules and policies, the focus of verifications pursuant to point (i) has easily moved towards information security assessment activities on ICT systems and infrastructures that are most critical to the business’s success, with the twofold objective of both measuring the level of exposure to the potential risk and verifying the level of conformity with the model established in Terna, launching any plans of action as necessary (also referred to as “recovery plans”) aimed at eliminating or reducing technological, operative or organisational weakenesses revealed by the analyses.
Following on from a programme established at the start of the year on the basis of priority considerations and exploiting a technological platform of very advanced vulnerability analysis acquired by Terna and managed entirely by specialised in-house resources, during the year, numerous, repeated security assessments were performed on specific ICT environments, clarifying the level of application of the governance model and the presence of severe or serious fragilities or deficiencies of various types.
This type of approach naturally has value only if it gives rise to, albeit in a gradual, sustainable manner, a virtuous cycle that increases production levels for the company technological infrastructures (and the related information) from the most common threats, with specific reference to those originating from cyberspace: hence in each action, reporting has always been ensured and prepared in great detail, able to guide or suggest any corrective action.
In compliance with the company’s ethical objectives, the same programme also pursues the search for conformity with the entire framework applicable to the matter, which is constantly evolving according to the importance that “information”, as an asset, is assuming in a company that is “always connected” and consequently in the business processes of companies and other organisations with a high technological content.
Under the scope of the initiative pursuant to point (ii), useful to enriching the panel of Terna’s certifications and also with the broader aim of improving the underlying data and system security processes, in July 2011, the path was successfully completed culminating in certification with standard ISO/IEC 27001:2005 in relation to the scope of TIMM (Integrated Market Monitoring Text) applications, a route originally shared with the Authority for Electricity and Gas.
Strictly with regard to the TIMM service, the certification obtained has represented a major goal, for the confirmation that a third party entity, assessed the way of working of so many different business players involved, recognising that Terna correctly applies security standards of international validity. An objective has also been achieved with benefits to image too, with the new certification calling Terna’s attention to the field of security governance and helping further improve the trust between the company and its stakeholders.
Regardless of any future developments on broader certification scopes, it must be stressed that the preparation to the certification stage brought with it benefits that were also extended to other Terna processes connected in various ways with the security of the IT networks and systems.
In actual fact, in order to present the relevant evidence to the certifying body, not only in-company processes were examined in detail and improved as necessary, and those near to the TIMM management cycle, but also processes that although distant in terms of information security (e.g. the process for acquiring external resources, HR management, the provision of building services, etc.), in actual fact make an essential contribution to the final result demanded by the standard. Many of the controls envisaged by the standard and seen during certification do not, in fact, have effects that are limited to the scope of TIMM but rather which go across the company as a whole, with clear added value for the protection of the entire company information assets.