Mourad Debbabi

Mourad Debbabi

Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering
Concordia University

Chair title

NSERC/Hydro-Québec/Thales Industrial Research Chair in Smart Grid Security: Detection, Prevention, Mitigation and Recovery from Cyber-Physical Attacks

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2016


The introduction of modern power generation and distribution technologies, together with the increasing demand for energy, are driving the need to deploy “smart” grids to operate, control and monitor electrical grids. Smart grids leverage information and communication technologies to offer distributed automation, advanced metering and automated controls. These applications and services enhance consumer-based interaction and interoperability, enabling the involved components (sensors, devices, systems as well as agents) to seamlessly interact within the smart grid. The successful deployment of smart grids is predicated on the ability to guarantee both their security and privacy. Such a requirement is of paramount importance, since electrical grids are one of the major components of the so-called critical infrastructure. Recent cyber security incidents demonstrate that smart grids could be subject to debilitating and disrupting attacks that might have severe security and economic consequences, and even endanger human lives. The aim of this research program is to explore the security of the smart grid domains, components, devices and protocols in order to

  • elicit the security requirements of smart grid;
  • identify the attack surfaces, together with the underlying vulnerabilities, threats and their consequences;
  • propose practical and efficient detection, prevention, mitigation and recovery techniques and methodologies to “harden” the overall smart grid security.

More explicitly, the objectives of our research are to

  • investigate, in depth, the security of smart grid protocols, emphasizing both communication and synchronization protocols;
  • explore and enhance the security of a critical component of the monitoring infrastructure of the smart grid, namely, the Wide Area Measurement System (WAMS);
  • design and implement practical techniques that contribute to Network and System Management (NSM) to enhance the security of the smart grid;
  • elaborate a practical methodology for the systematic security assessment of intelligent electronic devices.

We expect to make important contributions to methodologies, techniques, tools and best practices for the detection, prevention, mitigation and attribution of cyber attacks, together with the characterization of their physical impacts on power systems. All of these aspects will be explored through close collaboration with scientists and subject matter experts from Hydro-Québec and Thales Canada.


  • Hydro-Québec
  • Thales Canada

Contact information

Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering
Concordia University



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