Why is cyber security becoming important in the Energy Sector?
Energy is the lifeblood of civilization, and there are numerous obvious links between energy consumption and quality of life. Electricity has been shown to alleviate poverty, along with other measures such as sanitation, nutrition, and access to clean water, while also reducing pollution at home and expanding job prospects. Many new technologies of environmental management solutions has resulted in low carbon emission and help reduce many environmental issues. As a result, it is both a highly sought-after commodity and a valuable resource that the world must safeguard.
Examples of Cyber Attacks in the Energy Sector
Electric Power Industry (power and energy industry) is especially vulnerable to cyber-attacks. According to DNV, an independent assurance and risk management firm with operations in over 100 countries, energy is one of the top three industries reporting cyber intrusions.
Example – The Colonial Pipeline, a key source of transportation gasoline utilized on the East Coast of the United States, was shut down last year due to a ransomware attack. The hack was made by the group Dark Side resulting in skyrocketing prices and frantic buying at the gas pump until a $4.4 million payment in Bitcoin was paid.
Why are Cyber Threats Happening in the Energy Sector
We’ve noticed three traits in utility firms that make them particularly targeted to modern cyber threats in our work with them.
- Rise in the number of threats and actors aimed at utilities, including nation-state actors looking to disrupt security and the economy, cybercriminals who recognize the economic value of this sector, and activists looking to publicly express their opposition to utilities’ projects or broad agendas.
- Utilities’ growing attack surface, which is a result of their geographic and organizational complexity, as well as the decentralized style of many firms’ cyber security leadership.
- The electric-power and gas industries’ particular interdependencies between physical and cyber infrastructure expose them to abuse, especially wireless billing fraud.
It’s not just about the Internet. The energy sector (including wind and solar energy and renewable energy) which provides power, fuel, and water to billions of people across the world depends on smart devices to carry on their work. These gadgets need to have secure networks for industrial machinery, supply chain management, and remote work. Even the charging stations for EVs (electric vehicles) pose a cyber security risk.
Growing Demand for Cybersecurity in Energy Sector
Because there aren’t enough experienced professionals, cyber security positions are getting paid $90,000 per year are readily offered. These roles frequently include experience with both cyber security and the operating technology that must be safeguarded, such as turbines (wind turbine, hydraulic turbine, floating wind turbine), pumps, and industrial equipment. According to industry studies, 56 percent of businesses are unable to carry out existing security measures due to labor shortages, and training programs only meet 68 percent of demand.
In November 2020, the UAE Cabinet agreed to establish the UAE Cybersecurity Council. Even as one of the largest oil producing country, the UAE with the rising oil prices is in the energy transition to renewables. The country is also doing offshore wind energy investments to acquire energy efficiency in UAE. Also the development of smart buildings in UAE has made Dubai: a sustainable and smart city to live in.
Cybersecurity in the energy sector
Building the energy sector’s day-to-day operational capacity to communicate cyber-incident information, strengthening organizational and process cyber security posture, and conducting cyber-incident response and recovery are among CESER‘s top priorities. The office is also investing in cross-cutting tools and technology research, development, and demonstration to assist make the US energy infrastructure more cyber-resilient and secure. CESER collaborates closely with representatives from the energy sector, companies that manufacture energy technologies, the National Laboratories, universities, other government agencies, and other stakeholders to realize its energy security goal.
Cybercriminals in the Middle East mostly targeted the services, defense, and energy sectors. According to the CyberRes Galaxy 2022 Annual Report, the services sector was responsible for 33% of all attacks globally. As technology advances, there is a greater risk of security issues. The dangerous landscape will continue to grow without regular monitoring.
Another relatively new and rapidly evolving technology, digital payments, has offered hackers a chance. “While digital payments provide convenience to consumers, they also pose a larger risk if they are not properly safeguarded,” the survey said.
Cybersecurity in the energy sector: IT cyber security training is essential, but for a strong cyber defense, companies must also have a thorough understanding of each energy domain, whether nuclear, renewables, or oil and gas, as well as assurance that cyber processes will not disrupt production or their long-term energy transition goals.
In September, the North Africa and Middle East Information Security Conference will focus on the dangers of cyber attacks on key network infrastructure. The conference, titled “Converging Cyber Intel – Cyber Fusion: OT, Critical Network Infrastructure IT, and IoT,” will be held in person the current year following being held digitally for the previous two years because of the Covid pandemic. The event will take place on September 6 and 7 in Riyadh.
Organizations that use OT systems must build frameworks and controls. It’s also critical to have a cyber resilience and crisis management plan in place that’s evaluated and tested on a regular basis. People’s awareness and education are at the center of the OT security strategy (both within the organization and in the partner network.
RSE FZE has a wide range of forged machinery solutions (forging vs casting) and we lead businesses towards a more sustainable future. We support the country’s efforts toward a more cyber-secure industry. We are a developed company in the forging industry (types of forging methods – open die forgings) with experienced staff in power systems engineering. We also follow the latest technologies like mechanical seals, abrasive blasting, gravity batteries, etc.
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