energycioinsights

Energy Sector Turning Into Hacker's Favorite

By Barb Volk, CIO & MD - Information Services, NW Natural

Barb Volk, CIO & MD - Information Services, NW Natural

The areas in the Utility sector where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier. Knowing that we, as a natural gas utility, are a potential high-priority target for cybercrime keeps me awake at night. According to DHS the energy sector is the number three target of hackers, after government agencies and financial institutions.

Given the dynamic relationship of information systems, physical components, employees and their functions along with the ever changing cyber-threat landscape, it is a huge challenge to have appropriate practices and technologies in place to plan for, protect against, detect and respond to a cyber-attack.

“It is a huge challenge to have appropriate practices and technologies in place”

It’s made even more complex by the convergence of information, operational (e.g. industrial control systems) and physical security practices that must occur to implement an effective cyber security program. Technology vendors must deliver fully on purported solutions and ensure their systems.

Finally, there must be ongoing effective means of cyber-threat awareness and information sharing between government and industry.

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