Utilities Middle East
A life or death affair for utilities
As the utility sector becomes more digitized, it also becomes more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Over the last five years, utility companies have adopted new software to control operational technology (OT), moved towards technologyheavy green energy sources like wind and solar, and made large investments in big data, cloud computing and IoT.
All of these changes have increased their attack surface and exposed critical infrastructure to cyberattacks.
In fact, recent research from industrial control system (ICS) security firm Dragos shows that more than a third of the hacking groups it tracks (which typically focus on critical infrastructure and ICS) are targeting vulnerabilities in the electric sector.
Cybersecurity is a rapidly changing battlefield that requires awareness, continuous vigilance, and a consolidated response from everyone involved.
As a result, utility companies and their partners are putting more resources into understanding these cyber risks and how to defend against them. Many utilities are tailoring their security strategies toward risk reduction and cybersecurity resilience.
But to achieve full cybersecurity resilience, it is critical for utilities to create a cybersecurity roadmap, one with clear goals backed by strong protocols. This will help ensure a utility is proactive rather than reactive about threats.
Protecting against cyber threats is more than just implementing tools and responding to alerts; your utilities need a set of policies and practices in place for resilience and risk mitigation.
Because cybersecurity is a highly sensitive, it demands a trustworthy partner who understands how products, systems, and solutions integrate with the processes and people behind them and how people interact with them.
Companies such as Kaspersky are enabling utilities to master the challenges of an increasingly digitalised world. In this issue of Utilities Middle East, Amir Kanaan, Managing Director for Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky talks to us about the changing faces of cyber-attacks and how having the right ally is key to boosting cyber resilience.