WEC Congress | Cyber Threat: Are We at Risk of the Lights Going Out?

The increasing interconnection and digitisation of the energy sector, ranging from smart grids, or digital oil fields smart devices and the growing Internet of Things, along with the sector’s critical role in the functioning of a modern economy, makes the energy sector a highly attractive target for cyber-attacks geared to disrupt operations. As experienced in the Ukraine at the end of 2015, an attack on a system used to operate the power grid can impact the power supply of an entire country. Attacks on energy systems could lead to physical damage, with significant impacts on local communities and the economy. As highlighted in a new World Energy Council report, the energy sector must adopt measures to prevent, prepare for and respond to cyber events. Greater resilience to cyber risk is critical to current and future energy security. There is a lot is at stake, and new risks have become the focal point of boardroom and cabinet discussions.

Questions

  1. How can cyber risks be assessed and mitigated, taking into account the changing nature of the energy industry and energy infrastructure?
  2. How can governments and private sector collaborate to improve the energy sector’s response to cyber threats?
  3. What are learnings from other sectors and best practices in coordinating cyber security measures across supply chains and borders?

 

Background Reading

The road to resilience: Managing cyber risks report

Discussion Leader(s): Michael Bell, President, CEO and Member of the Board of Directors, Silver Spring Network, USA ; Andrew George, Chairman, Energy Practice, Marsh , UK ; O.H. Dean Oskvig, Vice Chair for North America; President & CEO, B&V Energy – retired, World Energy Council; Black & Veatch Corporation, USA
Topic: Resilience frontiers