World Energy Council releases report on cyber security and energy facilities

The World Energy Council has released The Road to Resilience – Managing Cyber Risks, the third report in a series about Financing Resilient Energy Infrastructure.

“The aggressive nature of cyber threats – and the potential that an attack crosses from the cyber realm to the physical world – requires the energy sector to reconsider how it views and addresses cyber risks,” WEC says.

This report investigates how cyber risks can best be managed, taking into account the changing nature of the energy industry and energy infrastructure. Actions are recommended for decision makers and stakeholders to improve the sector’s response to rising cyber threats, as part of a wider move toward greater resilience, which is crucial for energy security.

Key findings include:

  • Cyber threats are among the top concerns for energy leaders
  • Increasing interconnection and digitization of the energy sector make it a highly attractive target for cyber-attacks
  • Cyber risk presents a unique concern in the energy sector because an attack has the potential to cross from the cyber realm to the physical world
  • Technology vendors can play a critical role in furthering, or hindering, the resilience of energy infrastructure
  • Companies are increasingly recognizing cyber as a core risk
  • Cyber insurance is one mechanism to help offset potential financial losses from a cyber-attack

“Cyber threats are among top issues keeping energy leaders awake at night in Europe and North America,” said Christoph Frei, secretary general of the World Energy Council. “Over the past three years, we have seen a rapid change from zero awareness to headline presence. As a result, more than 30 countries have put in place ambitious cyber plans and strategies, considering cyber threats as a persistent risk to their economy. What makes cyber threats so dangerous is that they can go unnoticed until the real damage is clear, from stolen data over power outages to destruction of physical assets and great financial loss. Over the coming years we expect cyber risks to increase further and change the way we think about integrated infrastructure and supply chain management.”

This series of reports was prepared with Swiss Re Corporation Solutions and Marsh & McLennan Companies, with insights from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The other two reports were:

  • The Road to Resilience – Managing and Financing Extreme Weather Risk
  • The Road to Resilience – Managing the Risks of the Energy-Water-Food Nexus

The complete report is available here.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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