energy security

When malevolent attackers gain access to an industrial control system, they can destroy control and safety procedures, resulting in expensive outages, damaged turbines, dangers to the safety of the workforce, and even environmental disasters. This is why NERC CIP and other industrial security rules advise operators to safeguard IT/OT linkages against cyberterrorism and other assaults on these high-risk access points.

Protecting the industrial network perimeter against malicious traffic from external networks with lower levels of trust is the most crucial aspect of power plant cybersecurity. Waterfall Unidirectional Gateways allow secure IT/OT integration, ongoing real-time monitoring, and disciplined control for energy plants while shielding plant equipment from outside cyber security intrusions.

Why does the electricity sector need to prioritize cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a concern for all businesses. The impact on energy cybersecurity, though, maybe the greatest. Every power and utility company prioritizes cybersecurity due to the wide range of possible risks it poses to the environment, the economy, and public safety. Cybersecurity in the energy sector has become a primary concern as operating technology becomes increasingly digitally connected.

An increase in cyber hazards in the energy industry

Globally, the threats to the power industry’s cybersecurity are growing. The US government and the energy industry have moved swiftly to enhance cybersecurity for utilities and the energy sector. Attacks may involve one or more phases to maximize profit. The number of threat actors is growing and evolving at the same time.

The most significant risk comes from multi-stage attacks:-

The Colonial Pipeline hack is an example of a multi-stage attack that first steals credentials to collect vital data before releasing ransomware. Due to the exponentially increased financial harm, cybersecurity for the energy and utility industries is now much more valuable. Ransomware accounts for 23% of attacks and is the most significant danger globally.

Risk to industrial control systems (ICS):-

An increasing threat to public safety and national security, ICS threats are the focus of cybersecurity for the energy and utility industries. A growing number of ICS product faults from large firms were disclosed in the first half of 2021, with 70% of those being classified as severe or high severity. Whatever the flaw, an attacker wants to make money off of it.

Third parties were used to access and attack the ICS:-

Threat actors obtain access through exploiting flaws in established partnerships with third parties. This extends the strike zone and raises the danger for the target company. Companies as far away as the Ukraine onslaught financially and physically harmed the US. Cybersecurity is becoming more and more critical for the energy and utility industries.

Author : Swastika  Jha

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