We all rely on the energy industry every day. Whether you work for a company that provides electricity and gas, or you simply enjoy having a warm and lit home, we need the energy industry to keep going. But the industry itself seems remarkably unconcerned about the threats it faces.
Cyber crime is a growing danger for energy companies…
Very few energy companies take cyber crime as seriously as they should – which should be concerning to us all. Although the figures are improving, research has revealed that energy companies in the US spend only around 0.2% of their annual revenues on cyber security.
In contrast, financial services companies tend to spend between 0.6 and 1% on their own defences. While financial services companies do tend to have more money to steal, energy companies are also potential honey pots, and play a vital role in national infrastructure.
Is a lack of spend a problem of perception?
Cyber security is simply not seen as an important issue for the energy industry. This should raise alarm, as experts believe that there are around 140 criminal groups active today who target energy companies exclusively. Perhaps more alarming is the potential for hostile foreign agents to target infrastructure with cyber attacks.
Cyber attacks have the potential to shut down national energy grids, or at least restrict access to energy for strategic locations. With national interests at risk, it should be time for the energy industry to take cyber security seriously. The industry is growing rapidly, and now is the time to enter it. For workers in cyber-sec, and companies who rely on it, the future is in keeping our computers safe from threats.