To compete in today’s dynamic markets, power utilities are increasingly deploying IoT-based technologies and integrating their IT and operational technology (OT) networks. While these advances enable predictive maintenance, improve efficiency, and reduce downtime, they also expose grid infrastructures to a much wider attack surface.
The attacks that took down portions of the Ukrainian grid in 2015 and 2016 are proof that hackers have the ability to breach utility networks and disrupt operations.
In fact, the threat of a cyber attack was cited as a major concern by 41 percent of senior power executives in a recent Deloitte survey.
Given these new threats, integrating cybersecurity into a utility’s overall safety and business continuity strategy is no longer optional. This process begins by understanding the primary vulnerabilities.
The Communication Protocol Risk
The use of remote control and connectivity to substations in order to streamline efficiency requires relaying critical information back to Energy Management Systems (EMS) and SCADA Centers for analysis.
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