Threat actors targeting ISC and third-party opportunities are among the greatest threats to cybersecurity for energy and utilities. The stakes are high, given the potential harm to communities and countries when the power grid is attacked. Every power plant and utility should follow energy cybersecurity best practices to limit the risk of cyberattacks.
Ensure every stage of your supply chain is secure
Cybersecurity for power plants faces a complex web of risk surrounding the sector. Every link in the supply chain must be secured, as components from different vendors carry potential flaws that open systems to attacks. By mid-2021, more than 600 ICS flaws were identified across 76 ICS vendors, up from 449 in the second half of 2020.
Assess and evaluate cyber risk at every level
Effective energy cybersecurity safeguards, educates, and evaluates risk. Employees–among a company’s most valued assets—are often targets of attacks, as are trusted vendors. Training is critical to empower them to prevent attacks. Processes connecting trusted companies must be reviewed for flaws that could expose credentials and systems.
Train for risk awareness—and reporting
Cybersecurity in the power sector is not only security’s job, but also the responsibility of every employee. Energy cybersecurity awareness training for all is step one. Specialized training for employees in high-risk areas, such as IT or OT, is vital. Seek confirmation that employees of trusted partners are trained to mitigate risk as well.
Deploy cybersecurity risks monitoring solution
Energy cybersecurity requires a 24/7 monitoring solution to deliver alerts as incidents or failures occur. Early detection can limit system and financial impact, as well as restart operations more quickly. With continuous monitoring, AmeriGas recently detected and stopped a data breach in eight seconds.
Protect your operational technology networks
Cybersecurity in the power sector is where IT and OT intersect—prevention must encompass both functions. Separate high-risk processes from day-to-day business processes. Upgrade IT systems, monitor security patches and build redundant systems to help with recovery. Plan for alternative vendors in case a partner experiences an attack.