The idea of a cyberattack on the power grid may invoke images of flickering lights and a race against the clock to block an intrusion – but, often the most serious threats aren’t that obvious or dramatic.
Cyber threats that target critical infrastructure facilities like the power grid are typically the work of sophisticated attackers who are well-funded and intent on gathering critical information that can cause real and widespread damage. The impact of such vulnerabilities isn’t always felt immediately, but these attacks are very methodical and target very specific areas and information, making them incredibly important to defend against for long-term resilience.
Let’s take a closer look at what typically constitutes a sophisticated cyberattack:
- The attack is typically perpetrated by one of two groups – nation states or crime syndicates.
- These organizations both have the large amounts of resources needed to execute very specific attacks against an organization’s infrastructure.
- Motives tend to differentiate the two groups: Nation states are inspired to penetrate the defenses of a facility to obtain valuable information that could allow them to disrupt operations in the future for political purposes. The motivation for crime syndicates is almost always monetary.
Cyberattack threats have evolved into global occurrences, with the potential to affect every region of the world.
According to the 2018 State of Industrial Cybersecurity report, 51 percent of companies worldwide reported that they did not experience a security incident over the past 12 months—up from 46 percent in 2017.
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