CYBER & INFOSEC

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How Real-Time Technologies Are Helping Protect Vulnerable Energy Assets

As the world increasingly relies on technology, the energy sector’s role becomes more critical. A disruption in the power grid that delivers electricity to businesses and homes could be devastating for any infrastructure and services in an area. Given this severity, cyberattacks on the energy industry are a more pressing concern.

Energy grids today are a tempting target for cybercriminals, so reliable cybersecurity in this infrastructure is crucial. While securing these systems comes with some unique challenges, real-time technology is helping.


Vulnerabilities in the Energy Sector

Cybersecurity hasn’t historically been a strong point for the industry. In 2013, 80% of power companies reported increased cyberthreats, but only 11% felt their security met their needs. These threats are relatively new to the industry, and upgrading legacy systems to meet them can be challenging.

Since power companies must provide consistent service, stopping to upgrade can cause major disruptions. Many organizations may not even realize the scope of threats that face them. At the same time, increased IoT technology for data analysis and reporting creates more vulnerable endpoints.

Electrical grids are also complicated networks. Analyzing threats and securing the entire system can be a multifaceted challenge. Thankfully, technology provides a solution.


Precise Threat Detection

While IoT sensors in electrical grids increase the number of potential entry points, they can improve security. The data they gather on performance and disruptions can indicate when a cyberattack may be taking place. Coupled with AI, these real-time reporting technologies can give grids the security they need.

In October, Siemens introduced Managed Detection and Response, an AI-based security platform for energy companies. This AI continuously monitors energy networks in search of potential threats. When it detects something unusual, it will report it in real time, letting cybersecurity professionals act as fast as possible.

These analytics come with some bonuses, too. Strategic data analysis and audits are central to reducing energy usage, so companies can simultaneously reduce costs and improve security.


Advanced Real-Time Responses

Real-time analytics can do more than identify threats, too. Security professionals need to know what an attack looks like and its location to respond effectively. Better monitoring technology can enable that by providing more information.

AI and other monitoring tools can show companies how an attack is attempting to breach the system. Some advanced systems can even make suggestions for the best course of action in addressing the threat. That way, security teams can respond quickly and effectively.

The more these systems analyze, the better they get at responding to threats. No defenses can stop every assault, so they must withstand the effects of a successful attack. As these systems gather data on cyberattacks, they better predict their consequences, providing needed defenses.


Cybercrime Is a Threat to Any Industry

As more sectors rely on digital and IoT technologies, every business becomes an IT company in a sense. As a result, protecting against cyberattacks is a responsibility every modern business has. The energy sector is no exception.

While the energy industry doesn’t have the best cybersecurity track record, things are changing. New tools like real-time analytic and response technologies are helping power companies secure their most vulnerable assets. With further implementation of these technologies, the sector can stay safe from growing threats.