We met Carole Lisiz, project manager, who explains the digitalization and cybersecurity challenges of RTE, which recruits junior and experienced profiles, in order to support the development of the activities of its new operational monitoring center in real time.
The new operational monitoring center launched in early 2021 by RTE is a unique room in France. © RTE
Manager of the French electricity transmission network, RTE is a major player in the energy transition in France and in Europe. In charge of a public service mission of vital importance, he takes up technical and technological challenges in a challenging environment. We interviewed Carole Lisiz, project manager, who introduced us to RTE’s IT activities, where digital occupies an important place, but also the new national operational center for real-time monitoring, launched at the start of the year and for which the he company is recruiting new talents.
Can you tell us about RTE’s IT activities?
RTE is the leading European electricity transmission operator in terms of its size and the amount of our investments. With more than 106,000 km of high and very high voltage lines and nearly 3,000 electrical substations, our primary role is to balance the production and consumption of electricity in real time to supply the entire territory 24 hours a day and meet the daily needs of consumers and large manufacturers directly connected to our network. This network, which we own, we are maintaining and developing to integrate ever more renewable energies.
On the IT side, our information system is interconnected with all our businesses. It is made up of 2 main areas:
- a so-called “tertiary” IS with infrastructures and applications hosted on 2 redundant corporate data centers,
- a so-called “industrial” IS, today hosted locally, which will migrate to an industrial data center with enhanced security to meet the requirements of the military programming law.
RTE’s telecommunications for tertiary use make it possible to exchange data between applications, company messaging, telephony (data, video, TOIP). This network connects 200 sites and is based on an IP VPN offer. With our telecommunications for industrial use, we ensure the operation of the electricity network in a secure manner through the 2,800 sites spread across the territory.
How does digital technology hold a strategic place for RTE in the issues related to the French and European energy transition?
The electricity network and the telecom networks are inseparable: without telecommunications, we could not operate the electricity network. We must ensure that these infrastructures function optimally and without disruption. Our challenge: to meet the challenge of connecting renewable energies, intermittent energies by nature, to the electricity transmission network, while continuing to provide a high level of quality of service to communities and to our industrial customers. To respond to this, RTE is deploying innovative solutions in its various businesses by relying on digital technologies, which occupy a strategic place in the development of its activities.
How does RTE manage to ensure the security of its networks in the face of cybersecurity issues?
With the digitization of our industrial tool and the growing increase in attacks, cybersecurity is at the heart of RTE’s concerns. We need skills to ensure control of our cybersecurity and our defense (operation of equipment, event detection, hunting, forensics, etc.).
This is the reason why the company launched at the beginning of 2021 its IS-telecoms and cybersecurity supervision center, located in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, in the agglomeration of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The creation of this 24-hour surveillance room will allow RTE to re-internalize strategic skills for the transformation of our industrial tool. The results are there since 60,000 attempts are foiled every day by our security systems.
What is this operational monitoring center used for and how does it work?
This room, unique in France, is dedicated to real-time monitoring of RTE’s IS, telecoms and cybersecurity infrastructures. It works in real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is both “SOC” (Security Operation Center) to supervise the security of the information system, “NOC” (Network Operations Center) to manage and maintain the state of our computer network, and an information management center for our digital systems.
Two types of activity co-exist within this center:
- real-time monitoring and operations, which are carried out in continuous services,
- planning, preparation of operations and impact analyzes to be carried out, which are non-shift activities with sometimes technical constraints.
You are launching a recruitment campaign for January 2022. What profiles are you looking for precisely?
We are recruiting around thirty profiles in the fields of IS-data centers, telecommunications and cybersecurity, to continue the deployment of the centre’s activities. We are looking for experienced profiles and young graduates with a first experience in the following positions:
- Telecoms network supervisors – Level 1 and 2 *,
- Data center infrastructure operators and applications – Levels 1 and 2,
- SOC / CERT Analysts – Levels 1 and 2,
- CERT Level 3 Analysts,
- IT production administrators and engineers – Levels 2 and 3,
- Telecom network administrators – Level 3,
- Cyber security administrators – Level 3.
* level 1 = junior profile, levels 2 and 3 = senior profiles
What missions will be entrusted to your future recruits?
Our future employees will participate in the supervision, operation and administration of telecommunications networks, security systems, as well as centralized digital tools in our 24-hour surveillance room. They will also participate in projects.
Their mission will be to:
- supervise the operation of telecom, security and data center network infrastructures as well as business applications and services,
- detect, collect, analyze, qualify events that occur in real time, in order to provide the best response to guarantee the security, availability and performance of our systems,
- carry out scheduled maintenance and operations by coordinating these interventions with local RTE teams, network operators, customers or end users.
What are the advantages of joining RTE?
Joining us is a unique opportunity to participate in the construction of an unprecedented room in France by developing operational activities (NOC, SOC, data centers), project, and to concretely contribute to RTE’s public service missions to ensure that every second, the current flows.
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