Cyber security has become an increasingly vital requirement for any business, particularly those responsible for critical infrastructures, such as power system operations responsible for managing the rapidly evolving electric system.
These energy businesses must navigate their way through increasingly changing and risky business environments while continuing to provide and improve their services to end users. These business challenges include the transitions to clean energy resources and the increasing societal reliance on electrical energy.
At the same time, evolving regulations, breathtaking new technologies, and innovative market opportunities are impacting the existing business structures, including the interconnection of distributed energy resources owned and operated by third-parties, the rapidly expanded use of electrical vehicles, the reorganization of the power system with microgrids, availability of cloud services, and increased utilization of the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
The energy business environment is experiencing these paradigm shifts, the energy industry has accelerated its evolution toward digitization and is becoming increasingly reliant on cyber assets (systems, controllers, intelligent devices) to manage the delivery of electrical energy. These cyber assets are crucial to the safety, efficiency, and reliability of electrical energy.
Businesses also determine how to cope with the reality of deliberate cyber attacks, such as the successful cyber attack against the Ukrainian SCADA system , as well as how to remain resilient to the more mundane but equally critical inadvertent cyber threats arising from personnel mistakes, the complexity of systems, the multitude of new participants in this energy market, equipment failures, and natural disasters.So energy businesses that used to address only the system engineering process (design, deployment, integration, procedures, and maintenance) must now also include cyber security services and technologies into these engineering processes. As a result, the new systems could be significantly different in configurations, capabilities, and constraints.
In the energy operational environment, there are five critical concepts for cyber security that should be understood as energy businesses struggle to implement the necessary cyber security policies, procedures, and technologies.