New ITU clock concept for more resilient synchronization networks

Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) provide precise timing for synchronization networks that are critical to mobile telecoms and data centres, power supply and smart grids, railway and road transport, and security and public safety.
Long disruptions to GNSS could be catastrophic without solutions to maintain precise timing. These solutions are provided by ITU standards, assuring network operators and regulators that precise time will keep ticking.
Common causes of GNSS disruptions:
- GNSS segment errors
- Adjacent-band transmitters
- GNSS spoofing
- Environmental interference
- GNSS jamming
The ITU standard G.8272.1 defines the enhanced Primary Reference Time Clock (ePRTC), the primary source of time synchronization worldwide.
The GNSS signal is typically used as time reference for this clock. The latest version of this international standard provides for the delivery of timing with accuracy better than 100 nanoseconds, for up to 40 days after a GNSS loss.
Network-wide timekeeping
Introducing a new architectural concept, the new ITU standard G.8272.2 provides a coherent network reference clock (cnPRTC) that ensures highly accurate, resilient, and robust timekeeping throughout a telecom network.
The cnPRTC architecture involves interconnected clocks cooperating at the highest network level.
This allows stable, network-wide ePRTC time accuracy, even during periods of regional or network-wide GNSS unavailability or other failures and interruptions.
cnPRTC architecture at the core network level:
Comparative measurements between the clocks are another important component of the new architecture. Each clock’s performance is continuously monitored.
The whole group of clocks – connected by fibre or satellite systems such as GNSS common view – are combined under a “timescale algorithm.”
National time labs, GNSS control segments, and the UTC (coordinated universal time) established at the BIPM (international bureau of weights and measures) all rely on such algorithms to generate the time.
The revised G.8272.1 and new G.8272.2 standards are products of the working group on network synchronization and time distribution performance (Q13/15) in the ITU standardization study group for transport, access and home (ITU-T Study Group 15).
The OFC conference in San Diego (US) will feature an ITU booth (#5226), expert talks on “Tight Sync in Precision Time Protocol” on 26 March, and more hot topics at a “Standards Updates” session by the study group on 27 March.
The recent World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23), considering relevant ITU studies, endorsed the BIPM decision to adopt continuous UTC as the de facto time standard by 2035, with the possibility to extend the deadline to 2040 in cases where existing equipment cannot be replaced earlier.

CISA Issues Request For Information on Secure by Design Software Whitepaper

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a Request for Information from all interested parties on secure by design software practices, including the Shifting the Balance of Cybersecurity Risk: Principles and Approaches for Secure by Design Software whitepaper, as part of its ongoing, collective secure by design campaign across the globe.

To better inform CISA’s Secure by Design campaign, CISA and its partners seek information on a wide range of topics, including the following:

- Incorporating security early into the software development life cycle (SDLC): What changes are needed to allow software manufacturers to build and maintain software that is secure by design, including smaller software manufacturers? How do companies measure the dollar cost of defects in their SDLC?
- Security is often relegated to be an elective in education: What are some examples of higher education incorporating foundational security knowledge into their computer science curricula; When new graduates look for jobs, do companies evaluate security skills, knowledge, and experience during the hiring stage, or are employees reskilled after being hired?
- Recurring vulnerabilities: What are barriers to eliminating recurring classes of vulnerability; how can we lead more companies to identify and invest in eliminating recurring vulnerabilities; how could the common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) and common weakness enumeration (CWE) programs help?
- Operational technology (OT): What incentives would likely lead customers to increase their demand for security features; Which OT products or companies have implemented some of the core tenants of secure by design engineering?
- Economics of secure by design: What are the costs to implement secure by design and default principles and tactics, and how do these compare to costs responding to incidents and breaches?

“While we have already received a wide range of feedback on our secure by design campaign, we need to incorporate the broadest possible range of perspectives,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. Our goal to drive toward a future where technology is safe and secure by design requires action by every technology manufacturer and clear demand by every customer, which in turn requires us to rigorously seek and incorporate input. The President’s National Cybersecurity Strategy calls for a fundamental shift in responsibility for security from the customer to software manufacturers, and input from this RFI will help us define our path ahead, including updates to our joint seal Secure by Design whitepaper.

Co-sealed by 18 U.S. and international agencies, our recent Secure by Design guidance strongly encourages every software manufacturer to build products in a way that reduces the burden of cybersecurity on customers. More recently, CISA launched a new series of Secure by Design Alerts outlining the real-world harms that result from technology products that are not secure by design.

With its partners, CISA encourages technology manufacturers and all interested stakeholders to review the Request for Information and provide written comment on or before 20 February 2024. Instructions for submitting comment are available in the Request for Information. The feedback on current analysis or approaches will help inform future iterations of the whitepaper and our collaborative work with the global community.

CIPRNA Announced Preliminary Conference Programme

Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience North America, taking place on 12th-14th March 2024 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and co-hosted by IACIPP and Infragard Louisiana, has announced the Preliminary Conference Program for the 2024 conference and exhibition, and you can download the agenda at

The Guide provides you the outline program, excellent international expert speakers and schedule of events to help you plan your participation.

You can also register online today and save with the Early Bird delegate rates at

Confirmed Speakers include:
– Dr David Mussington, Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- Brian Harrell, VP & Chief Security Officer, AVANGRID
- Michael Hill, Program Specialist, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
- Emilio Salabarria, Senior Program Manager for Cybersecurity, The Florida Center for Cybersecurity: Cyber Florida
- Dr. Srinivas Bhattiprolu, Global Head of Advanced Consulting Services, Nokia
- Ed Landgraf, Chairman, Coastal And Marine Operators
- Kimberly Heyne, ChemLock Program Manager, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- Dan Frazen, CO-CEM, Agriculture Emergency Coordinator (All-Hazards), Colorado Department of Agriculture
- Dr. Joshua Bergerson, Principal Infrastructure Analyst, Argonne National Laboratory
- Chris Essid, Sector Branch Chief, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- Budge Currier, Assistant Director Public Safety Communications, California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)
- Terrence Check, Senior Legal Council, CISA
- Rola Hariri, Defense Industrial Base Liaison, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- Lester Millet, President, Infragard Louisiana & Safety Risk Agency Manager, Port of South Louisiana
- Michael Finch, Technology Services Director, Lane County Department of Technology Services
- Richard Tenney, Senior Advisor, Cyber, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
- Andrew A Bochman, Senior Grid Strategist-Defender, DOE / Idaho National Lab
- Jim Henderson, CEO, Insider Threat Defense Group

Full speaker list:
Download Agenda:
Schedule of Events/Agenda:
List of Exhibitors:

Join the community in Lake Charles on 12th-14th March 2024 for some more great discussions on securing America's critical infrastructure and assets.

Download latest Preliminary Conference Programme Guide for CIPRE

As someone responsible in your organisations for critical assets and/or infrastructure, Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Europe is the leading conference that will keep you abreast of the changes in legislation, current threats and latest developments.

Download the Preliminary Conference Programme Guide at

What is the new directive on the Resilience of Critical Entities...

The Directive on the Resilience of Critical Entities entered into force on 16 January 2023. Member States have until 17 October 2024 to adopt national legislation to transpose the Directive.

The Directive aims to strengthen the resilience of critical entities against a range of threats, including natural hazards, terrorist attacks, insider threats, or sabotage, as well as public health emergencies.

Are you up to date on this legislation, and do you know what you need to do to be compliant?

Get updated on the NIS2 Directive and what it means to you...

An important discussion will centre around the EU cybersecurity rules introduced in 2016 and updated by the NIS2 Directive that came into force in 2023. It modernised the existing legal framework to keep up with increased digitisation and an evolving cybersecurity threat landscape.

By expanding the scope of the cybersecurity rules to new sectors and entities, it further improves the resilience and incident response capacities of public and private entities, competent authorities and the EU as a whole.

Businesses identified by the Member States as operators of essential services in the above sectors will have to take appropriate security measures and notify relevant national authorities of serious incidents. Key digital service providers, such as search engines, cloud computing services and online marketplaces, will have to comply with the security and notification requirements under the Directive.

What will this mean for you and how can you meet the Directives goals?

Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Europe is Europe's leading discussion that brings together leading stakeholders from industry, operators, agencies and governments to collaborate on securing Europe's critical infrastructures.
The conferences top quality programme looks at these developing themes and help create better understanding of the issues and the threats, to help facilitate the work to develop frameworks, good risk management, strategic planning and implementation.

The packed event themes include:

- Interdependencies and Cascading Effects
- Emerging Threats against CI
- Crisis Management, Coordination & Communication
- Power & Energy Sector Symposium
- Government, Defence & Space Sector Symposium
- Communications Sector Symposium
- Information Technology (CIIP) Sector Symposium
- Transport Sector Symposium
- CBRNE Sector Symposium
- Technologies to Detect and Protect
- Risk Mitigation and Management
- The Insider Threat
- Business Continuity Management
- EU Horizon Projects Overviews

You are invited to be a part of this program, where you can meet, network and learn from the experiences of over 40 expert international speakers, as well as industry colleagues who share the same challenges and goals.

Please join us and the CI industry in the beautiful city of Prague, on 3rd-5th October, for a great programme of discussions that can help you to deliver enhanced security and resilience for your organisation.

Visit for further details


Your latest issue of Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience News has arrived

Please find here your downloadable copy of the Summer 2023 issue of Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience News for the latest views and news at

- The CNI / Crowded Places Security Debate
- Beyond Physical Protection
- Hybrid Threats
– A Comprehensive Resilience Ecosystem
- Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity Research
- Resilience in action
- An Interview with EU-CIP Project
- IBM Report: Half of Breached Organizations Unwilling to Increase Security Spend Despite Soaring Breach Costs
- Using the EU Space Programme for disaster risk management in Hungary
- An Interview with TIEMS
- Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Europe Preview
- Agency and Industry News

Download your Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience News at

Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience News is the official magazine of the International Association of Critical Infrastructure Protection Professionals (IACIPP), a non-profit organisation that provides a platform for sharing good practices, innovation and insights from Industry leaders and operators alongside academia and government and law enforcement agencies.

#CriticalInfrastructureProtection #CriticalInfrastructure #cybersecurity #help2protect #cisa #ciprna #cipre #resilience #cooperation #emergencymanagement #emergencyresponse #crisismanagement #businesscontinuity #crisisresponse #mitigation

ESF Members NSA and CISA Publish Second Industry Paper on 5G Network Slicing

Enduring Security Framework (ESF) partners the National Security Agency (NSA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published an assessment of 5G network slicing. ESF, a public-private cross-sector working group led by NSA and CISA, identifies three keys for keeping this emerging technology secure: Security Consideration for Design, Deployment, and Maintenance.

“This document marks an initial stride in capturing the current, but evolving, landscape of network slicing, and serves as a catalyst for initiating meaningful conversations surrounding the potential use cases for network slicing,” said Lauren Wyble, Technical Director for Network Infrastructure Security at NSA.

5G is a fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks; it can provide increased data download and upload speeds, lower latency, and allow more devices to connect to the internet at the same time. 5G network slicing is a network architecture which allows mobile service providers to divide their network up into several independent ones in order to create specific virtual networks that cater to different clients and use cases. Today’s release builds upon threat and security considerations previously published by the ESF.

The assessment intends to provide an informed methodology and a mutual understanding with industry for “federal departments and agencies (inclusive of the DoD)” to design, deploy, operate, and maintain “secure network slicing” across private, hybrid, and public networks.

This paper introduces 5G stakeholders to the benefits associated with network slicing, assesses 5G network slicing threat vectors, presents guidance in line with industry best practices, and identifies perceived risks and management strategies that may address those risks.

Although all 5G network stakeholders can benefit from this guidance, the threat and security considerations discussed in this assessment are intended for mobile service providers, hardware manufacturers, software developers, and system integrators that design, deploy, operate, or maintain 5G networks. This document aims to foster communication among these parties, and between them and network slice customers. See the other documents in the ESF 5G series below:

- Potential Threats to 5G Network Slicing
- Potential Threat Vectors to 5G Infrastructure
- Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures: Prevent and Detect Lateral Movement (Part I)
- Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures: Securely Isolate Network Resources (Part II)
- Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures: Data Protection (Part III)
- Security Guidance for 5G Cloud Infrastructures: Ensure Integrity of Cloud Infrastructure (Part IV)
- Open Radio Access Network Security Considerations

NATO and European Union launch task force on resilience of critical infrastructure

Senior officials from NATO and the European Union met to launch a new NATO-EU Task Force on Resilience of Critical Infrastructure. Cooperation to strengthen critical infrastructure has become even more important in light of the sabotage against the Nord Stream pipelines, and Russia’s weaponisation of energy as part of its war of aggression against Ukraine.

First announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in January, the initiative brings together officials from both organisations to share best practices, share situational awareness, and develop principles to improve resilience. The Task Force will begin by focusing on four sectors: energy, transport, digital infrastructure, and space.

Announcing the initiative in January, Mr Stoltenberg said: "We want to look together at how to make our critical infrastructure, technology and supply chains more resilient to potential threats, and to take action to mitigate potential vulnerabilities. This will be an important step in making our societies stronger and safer."

NATO-EU cooperation has reached unprecedented levels in recent years, and particularly since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In January, NATO and EU leaders signed a new joint declaration to take partnership between the organisations to a new level, including on emerging and disruptive technologies, space, and the security impact of climate change.

GAO Wants Time Frames to Complete DHS Efforts on Critical Infrastructure Security

Protecting critical infrastructure—like water supplies, electricity grids, and food production—is a national priority. Events like natural disasters or cyberattacks can disrupt services that Americans need for daily life.

Many federal agencies are tasked with protecting the nation's critical infrastructure and look to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for leadership on how to do it.

A 2021 law expanded these agencies' responsibilities and added some new ones. CISA is working on guidance and more to help agencies implement these responsibilities. We recommended that CISA set timelines for completing this work.

GAO found that the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 expanded and added responsibilities for sector risk management agencies. These agencies engage with their public and private sector partners to promote security and resilience within their designated critical infrastructure sectors. Some officials from these agencies described new activities to address the responsibilities set forth in the act, and many reported having already conducted related activities. For example, the act added risk assessment and emergency preparedness as responsibilities not previously included in a key directive for sector risk management agencies. New activities officials described to address these responsibilities included developing a risk analysis capability and updating emergency preparedness products.

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has identified and undertaken efforts to help sector risk management agencies implement their statutory responsibilities. For example, CISA officials stated they are updating key guidance documents, including the 2013 National Infrastructure Protection Plan and templates for revising sector-specific guidance documents. CISA officials also described efforts underway to improve coordination with sector partners, such as reconvening a leadership council. Sector risk management agency officials for a majority of critical infrastructure sectors reported that additional guidance and improved coordination from CISA would help them implement their statutory responsibilities. However, CISA has not developed milestones and timelines to complete its efforts. Establishing milestones and timelines would help ensure CISA does so in a timely manner.

Why GAO Did This Study

Critical infrastructure provides essential functions––such as supplying water, generating energy, and producing food––that underpin American society. Disruption or destruction of the nation's critical infrastructure could have debilitating effects. CISA is the national coordinator for infrastructure protection.

The William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 includes a provision for GAO to report on the effectiveness of sector risk management agencies in carrying out responsibilities set forth in the act. This report addresses (1) how the act changed agencies' responsibilities, and the actions agencies have reported taking to address them; and (2) the extent to which CISA has identified and undertaken efforts to help agencies implement their responsibilities set forth in the act.

GAO analyzed the act and relevant policy directives, collected written responses from all 16 sectors using a standardized information collection tool, reviewed other DHS documents, and interviewed CISA officials.


The Director of CISA should establish milestones and timelines to complete its efforts to help sector risk management agencies carry out their responsibilities. DHS concurred with the recommendation. Additionally, GAO has made over 80 recommendations which, when fully implemented, could help agencies address their statutory responsibilities.

Recommendations for Executive Action
Agency Affected
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The Director of CISA should establish milestones and timelines for its efforts to provide guidance and improve coordination and information sharing that would help SRMAs implement their FY21 NDAA responsibilities, and ensure the milestones and timelines are updated through completion. (Recommendation 1)

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned.

IRC warns damaged infrastructure is hampering critical aid supply to catastrophic disaster as it launches emergency response

As the full scale of the disaster in Syria and Turkey following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake becomes apparent, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is warning of catastrophic humanitarian needs in both countries. Unfettered humanitarian access to those affected is now absolutely critical. As humanitarian needs soar during freezing temperatures, in both Turkey and Syria, the IRC is launching an integrated response to affected populations in both countries.

Tanya Evans, Syria Country Director for IRC said:

“The scale of the disaster is catastrophic. We are still in the first 36 hours of one of the largest earthquakes to hit the region this century. Multiple earthquakes and aftershocks yesterday and today have damaged roads, border crossings, and critical infrastructure, severely hampering aid efforts.

“IRC’s main priority is finding safe spaces for our staff to operate from in Gaziantep and across northwest Syria. Many buildings have been severely damaged in the earthquake, including at least one of our field offices in northwest Syria. It is almost impossible to know the full extent of the disaster right now but everything we are hearing from our teams suggests it is truly devastating.

“Electricity across the affected area remains intermittent. In Turkey we have seen improvements since the earthquake but in northern Syria there are still so many areas off the grid. This also includes mobile and internet outages making the response and coordination even more difficult. It is not just electricity and phone lines affected. Gas supplies, for which many rely on to heat their homes, have also been severely impacted meaning that even if people are able to return to their homes they will have to endure freezing temperatures.

“With the response in its infancy the need for humanitarian aid is stark. Roads and infrastructure, like bridges, have been damaged meaning it will likely prove challenging to get supplies to those who need it most. Even before the earthquake, humanitarian access was constrained in northwest Syria, with most aid coming in via one crossing point with Turkey. In this time of increased need it is critical that the levels of aid crossing also increase at pace too.”

The IRC’s response to the earthquake will be in both Turkey and northern Syria, and will include the provision of immediate cash, basic items such as household kits, dignity kits for women and girls and hygiene supplies. Through partners, the IRC will support essential health services in earthquake-affected areas, and set up safe spaces for women and children affected by the crisis.

In light of the catastrophic humanitarian needs emerging, the IRC is calling on the international community to urgently increase critical funding to both Syria and Turkey to ensure that those affected by this emergency get the lifesaving support they need before it is too late.

[image: DENIZ TEKIN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock]

IOM joins Making Cities Resilient 2030 as supporting entity

The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has joined the MCR2030 initiative as a supporting entity. MCR2030 is UNDRR’s flagship program, building on the achievement of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign that began in 2010. It welcomes cities, local governments, and all parties who wish to support cities along the resilience roadmap.

The IOM Regional Office for the MENA region has developed the Urban Diagnostic Toolkit to map gaps in migrants’ integration in urban settings, aimed at increasing urban resilience of migrants, refugees, displaced persons, host societies and local governments by strengthening migrants’ social cohesion in the spatial, institutional, economic, climate and resilience city systems.

Increasingly, IOM and UNDRR collaborate across a range of workstreams from high level policy engagement related to the Sendai Framework for DRR’s Midterm Review process, the Global Platform for DRR and Regional DRR Platforms, and more recently on the Early Warning for All Initiative, COP27 and the Center of Excellence for Disaster and Climate Resilience, which IOM recently joined as a member of the Steering Committee. Partnership also extends to technical cooperation on the implementation of the annual workplan of the Senior Leadership Group for DRR for Resilience inclusive of work to mainstream DRR into humanitarian action. IOM is also supporting UNDRR’s leadership on the development and roll out of Risk Information Exchange and the creation of a second-generation disaster loss accounting platform to replace DesInventar. The latter was recently dialogued under the leadership of UNDRR-UNDP-WMO at the Bonn Technical Expert Forum meeting in late November.

This is the beginning of a new collaboration between the two UN agencies. UNDRR warmly welcomes the new MCR partner to work jointly on paving the road for increasing migrants’ resilience in urban contexts.

MRC2030 is a unique cross-stakeholder initiative for improving local resilience through advocacy, sharing knowledge and experiences, establishing mutually reinforcing city-to-city learning networks, injecting technical expertise, connecting multiple layers of government, and building partnerships. Through delivering a clear roadmap to urban resilience, providing tools, access to knowledge, and monitoring and reporting tools, MCR2030 will support cities on their journey to reduce risk and build resilience.

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