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Protecting Canada’s energy infrastructure from cyber attacks | Waterloo News



Dr. Sebastian Fischmeister
Professor, Faculty of Engineering
> Cheriton School of Computer Science
> Velocity
> Co-founder and CEO, Palitronica

Dr. Sebastian Fischmeister and his team are working to safeguard Canada’s economic future by bolstering its critical infrastructure against the threat of cyber-attacks. Their research develops new security controls that shields against potential threats within the energy sector’s vital supply chains.

“We are using a physics-based hardware and software integrity checkpoint system designed to scrutinize and assess the elements underpinning Canada’s energy infrastructure,” Fischmeister says. “Our aim is to compile these findings and present them to the Canadian government. By sharing our insights, we can empower them to make informed decisions.”

Natural Resources Canada, supported by Defence Research and Development Canada, funds this initiative. Palitronica, a Kitchener-based startup born from the Real-time Embedded Software Group at Waterloo, is also part of the collaborative effort.

“Waterloo’s creator owned policy is a main reason I came to work here, it makes these types of working partnerships possible,” says Fischmeister, who is the co-founder and CEO of the Velocity startup.

As various industries rely on increasingly complicated global networks, the likelihood of potential vulnerabilities increases. Visibility into supply chain security can wane as systems become more complex, heightening the urgency of these protective measures.

The cost of cyberattacks significantly burdens economies and industries worldwide, often resulting in substantial financial losses, compromised data and disrupted operations. These attacks can cripple critical infrastructure, damage reputations and impose long-term recovery expenses.

The team aspires to translate laboratory developments into real-world solutions, cementing Canada’s position as a cybersecurity leader. Palitronica already collaborates with industry to integrate their technologies and services.

Fischmeister’s visionary research promises to protect Canada’s energy infrastructure and secure economic prosperity. This initiative shines as a guiding light in a challenging digital world, where thorough evaluation, cutting-edge technologies and strategic partnerships forge the path toward a safer and more promising future.

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