Digitally Powered Utility : Digitally Powered Utility
Strengthen the security and privacy of customer, network and employee information Imagine if utilities could become trusted custodians of customer and employee information whilst securing critical infrastructure. The opportunities of advanced technology and connection of devices via IP addresses bring new challenges, including the increased risk of cybersecurity threats. The complexity and rapid pace of change of digital technology is exposing utilities to more sophisticated and frequent cyber attacks which have the potential to breach customer and employee privacy, incur regulatory action or even bring down generators and grids. Cyber attacks are now a matter of "when, not if" --- the ability to prevent an attack needs to be supplemented with abilities to detect and respond to the inevitable attacks. "The Internet of Things offers consumers convenience, and provides businesses with vast amounts of data on customer habits. However, this also presents a greater threat. Security and privacy must be a forethought not an afterthought." Charlie Offer, Oceania Power & Utilities Cyber Security Leader, EY The convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) increases the already signifcant cybersecurity risks facing the utilities industry. As critical infrastructure providers, all utilities are an attractive target for hackers and cyber-extortion. IT and OT convergence exposes control systems to cyber threats. Energy utilities must now recognise and manage these threats as a genuine and signifcant business risk as well as for the safety of citizens. Watch our video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fczkoO_-VQ OT and process control systems can no longer be managed in silo, separate to corporate IT and risk management. On the plus side, advanced digital technologies are also enabling increased security capability, including advanced security monitoring and analytics. The next generation of security operations centres are using big data algorithms to analyse patterns of traffc on both corporate IT and OT networks to identify possible indicators of compromise. This allows an enhanced capability to respond to a cyber attack in real-time. Security and privacy concerns should not be seen as a blocker to innovation but as a way to enable trust as a differentiator. Embedding risk management within innovation will ensure privacy and security risks are considered "by design." 55% of customers surveyed said their biggest concern relating to data security and their utility provider was the privacy of personal details18 13 | Building the digitally powered utility of the future An Australian perspective A hacktivist group infltrated a water utility's control system and changed the levels of chemicals being used to treat water.17 In December 2015, hackers brought down Ukraine's electricity system, resulting in outages to 225,000 customers. 17. Source: Hackers hijacking water treatment plant controls shows how easily civilians could be poisoned, International Business Times website, http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/hackers-hijacked-chemical-controls-water-treatment-plant-utility-company-was-using-1988-server-1551266, 23 March 2016. 18. EY Digital Australia Omnibus 2015-16, EY, 2016.