Why Spain

Spain, like many developed nations, prioritizes safeguarding its critical infrastructure (CI), the backbone of essential services like energy and communication and major players Iberdrola (energy) and Telefónica (telecoms), and the threats they face. The introduction of the CER Directive and NIS 2 Directive have been a challenge for many European nations and Spain is one of those leading their implementation in its CI protection policy and plans.

Spain’s National Security Strategy (ENS) outlines the overarching framework for CI protection. It emphasizes risk assessment, prevention, preparedness, and response measures. The ENS is complemented by specific sectoral plans, like the National Plan for the Protection of Infrastructures (PNPIC), which details risk mitigation strategies for various CI sectors. Additionally, Spain actively participates in international CI protection initiatives.

The Ministry of Interior leads CI protection efforts, with its key agency CN-PIC working alongside sector-specific ministries like the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (energy) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (telecoms).

Operators like Iberdrola and Telefónica are responsible for implementing security measures within their infrastructure. They collaborate with the government in risk assessments, incident response planning, and information sharing.

Current Overview of Threats

Cyberattacks: Spanish CI faces a growing cyber threat landscape. Malicious actors target energy grids and communication networks to disrupt critical services, steal data, or demand ransom.

Physical Attacks: Physical attacks on infrastructure, though less frequent, remain a concern. These can range from sabotage of power plants to vandalism of telecom towers or attacks to transport networks.

Natural Disasters: Spain is susceptible to natural disasters like floods, wildfires, and earthquakes. These events can damage critical infrastructure and disrupt services.

Spain has a robust CI protection policy and plan, with government and private entities working together. However, the evolving threat landscape demands continuous adaptation. Critical infrastructure operators, play a crucial role in safeguarding Spain’s essential services through robust cybersecurity measures, physical security investments, and disaster preparedness plans and an excellent location to host the 2024 Critical Infrastructure Protection Week and Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience conference.