Why Energy Companies Should Invest in Cyber Security

Technology > Security

Energy companies provide the backbone in every modern city and country to function at all / Photo by Getty Images

 

Energy companies are some of the most fiercely guarded sectors of society. Energy has been a matter of concern for countries all over the world. This is due to the fact that energy companies provide the backbone required for any modern city and country to function at all -- providing electricity, as well as energy, to those that need it when they want it. Now, however, security surrounding energy facilities and companies are less about external threats like embargos, or cutting off supplies in different regions, and more about internal issues and why the state of computer systems in the facility could change and affect the public.

Cyber security affects a number of internal areas of any company. Because the majority of energy companies and businesses are privately owned, their systems are some of the prime targets for both criminals and hostile governments, depending on the area that the business is based. The traditional concerns of energy companies are not as problematic as they once were, due to the abundance of resources and the fact that shortages can be covered by different solutions. However, this shift into the new age does not mean that the majority of energy companies' problems are fixed. It only means that there are new vulnerabilities that these companies should take note of. One of these is the fact that, because of the complexity of energy systems in the company, it is important to check for electronic mistakes or deliberate cyber attacks that could damage or shut down the company. This is even more palpable when taking into account that many companies rely on computers and data to keep their businesses working.

Cyber security is, more often than not, overlooked, until something goes horribly wrong. This should not be one's way of thinking. Companies--energy companies, particularly--should put more focus on creating stricter and more cohesive forms of security in cyber related software and systems. Energy companies, specifically, are vulnerable to attack and are a common target, considering the worth of what they provide. It is important that they realize that disruptions to the energy industry in one country can affect entities worldwide, and even put lives at risk.