As countries try to move further away fromfossil fuels, the renewables industry is growing. Renewables now account foraround 90 percent of energy capacity additions worldwide. But the relativenewness and decentralised nature of the technology makes it particularlyvulnerable to cyber-attacks. Building adequate cyber defences around renewablesand the energy grid is therefore key to maintaining energy security.
Renewable energy sources such as wind and solarpower, and technologies such as green hydrogen production and carbonsequestration, bring with them new digital and physical vulnerabilities.Cybercriminals are becoming more creative and attacks are more intense andcostly. Alternative energy companies, on the other hand, often fail toimplement even the most basic security protocols as they focus on developingthe technology and gaining market share. To achieve a more sustainable future,these organisations need to embed cyber security into their organisationalculture alongside cutting-edge technologies.
Green energy sources are more vulnerable thanconventional energy producers because of their decentralised operation andtechnologies, many of which are still under development. Solar and wind powerplants, for example, do not have permanent on-site staff, are operated andmaintained remotely, and a control centre operates several units. Hackers canhack into these to steal employee data and shut them down with the click of abutton. Last year, for example, the remote control systems of some 7800 wind turbines in Europe were disabled bycybercriminals. In addition to critical energy infrastructure, households arealso not safe, as they can be part of the national grid through homegeneration.
To counter the threat, reactive cybersecuritymust be replaced by a proactive approach. The first step towards strengtheningprotection systems could be to increase budgetary resources and acquire theright tools. It is also important to employ well-trained cybersecurityprofessionals who understand the specific needs of the energy sector.ViVeTech's consultants can help identify companies' vulnerabilities with up-to-date industry knowledge anddevelop a tailored cyber defence system that can save businesses from seriousfuture damage.