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Renewable energy infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attacks says new report

Renewable energy technologies have established a significant role in the energy industry. Because of their prominence and growing importance to power supplies, it is vital for the industry to develop appropriate security, and specifically cyber security, strategies. A new report from energy sector experts, The Renewables Consulting Group, and cybersecurity specialists, Cylance Inc., provides insight into cyber security for the renewable energy industry, focusing on threat and impact assessment, and on measures to improve cyber protection.

Cyber security threats include ransomware, fileless attacks, advanced persistent threats (APTs) and Trojans. The security of a renewable energy asset can be broken down into two main components; physical security and cyber security. A successful cyber attack has the potential, not just to cause the loss of personal and commercial information, or cause damage to electronic resources, but also to damage a project’s physical assets through the forced maloperation of components, impact its finances by disrupting generation, or create national, or regional, energy security risks in the event of a large-scale grid blackouts.

The report makes the following cyber security recommendations for renewable energy technologies:

  • Environment assessment: renewable energy companies should carry out comprehensive assessments of their current cyber security posture.
  • Asset update: updated systems provide a last line of protection when other security measures fail so it is critical that IT infrastructure is updated and staff are trained to recognise the threats.
  • Access management: access to sensitive systems and data needs to be properly managed.
  • Predictive tools: new tools, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, can help maintain a strong security as cyberattacks and operating environments become more complex.

Read the ‘Cybersecurity in Renewable Energy Infrastructure’ report (registration required).

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