IoT, as one of the significant catalysts for the transformation in the energy and utility sector, drives enumerable opportunities prioritizing security.
FREMONT, CA: The Internet of Things (IoT) is already creating waves across both the business and the customer landscape. Power suppliers and utilities are looking to leverage IoT technologies to drive internal and external benefits as they design programs that enhance customer service. Smart metering and advanced infrastructure are the first set of steps to progress. These systems enable greater forecasting capabilities, thereby cutting down costs through efficient scheduling and reliability in the grid. It is also allowing the customers to foresee spending patterns and better plan their energy usage over time.
Utilities indeed have a great deal of experience in installing and managing IoT. But the challenge today is ensuring device and data security of these systems against attackers and eavesdroppers. With the takeoff of the IoT adoption, threat reports have already started to appear. Energy and utility providers represent a high-value target for cyber attackers, and its broad geographic diversity presents a challenge with a highly distributed surface attack.
IoT security threats are persistent and rapidly evolving in the energy and utility sector. As protecting every asset from every potential danger is not realistic, utilities need to manage their risk by deploying defense-in-depth strategies. Data encryption is one of the most powerful security tools available for IoT adopters. The challenges associated with IoT communications within the sector drives this requirement foe encryption throughout the distributed IoT infrastructure. All communication between endpoints and sensors to the edge and the cloud must be encrypted so that the data can't be compromised. Encryption is the most effective method when used wherever IoT data travels.
Authentication technology can also be used to ensure that only authenticated or approved users gain access to IoT networks and related systems. Accessing data in the device or system or the cloud must require authentication and authorization to ensure no one manipulates the utility environment. Advanced firewalls are another essential IoT security tool, providing features including application awareness, stateful inspection, and integrated intrusion protection system technology. They offer security and operations teams necessary capabilities for segmentation, application visibility, and threat management.
Physical security, including site access controls and surveillance technologies, constitute another essential part of the IoT security strategy. Access control technologies, including the password-protected cabinet, help energy and utility providers, secure physical network assets against breach and destruction. Video analytics solutions scrutinize live images in real-time to detect unusual activities that could pose threats to IoT systems. It also provides an essential tool in mitigating physical security risks and protecting high-value assets. Besides managing cyber threats and physical security, firms must make sure to consider the business risks of unplanned downtime caused by natural disasters, equipment failures, and worker safety incidents.
Considering the critical nature of these systems and the rising cyber security threats against them, establishing a connected and trusted infrastructure is becoming more crucial than ever.