Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 56 - Page 77

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WHY THE ENERGY SECTOR MUST TAKE A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO CYBERDEFENCE

The energy sector has undergone immense digitalisation in recent years as organisations have adopted digital tools to help achieve their transition towards net zero . But this has also introduced new risks and threats which need to be addressed to stay ahead of sophisticated attackers . Phil Tonkin , Senior Director of Strategy at Dragos , talks us through the typical threats facing organisations in this sector and highlights why a proactive approach to defence should be encouraged .

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How has the digitalisation of the energy sector impacted cyber-risk ?
The energy sector has digitised significantly over the last few years as a fundamental part of the transition towards a net zero energy market . So much interconnectivity and data is required to facilitate that transition , resulting in a much greater level of exposure
The challenge is that every time a new connection is introduced – and considering the speed at which that is done , while also maintaining connectivity at a lower price point – it ’ s possible to introduce new risks into those spaces .
It ’ s a rapidly evolving environment which requires a great deal of consideration to balance the needs of moving towards net zero and managing the risks that come from connectivity through cyberthreats .
What are the typical threats facing organisations in the energy sector ?
There are traditional threats that come from state adversaries who are looking to disrupt the supply and continuity of energy within other nations but we ’ re also seeing a real trend towards criminal groups trying to exploit that criticality as well . We ’ ve seen groups use sophisticated techniques and targeted activity to try to gain access into environments and hold them to
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