The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2016

Power and utilities summary

Power and utilities organisations face a raft of challenges as a result of evolving business models, distributed generation and increasing demands of connected customers. At the same time, they should safeguard their operational systems from escalating attacks by highly skilled nation-states. To address these challenges, power and utilities companies are implementing cloud-based cybersecurity, Big Data analytics and advanced authentication. Additionally, more organisations share cybersecurity threat intelligence than ever before.

Protecting the assets that matter

While current employees remain the most-cited source of cybersecurity incidents, this year we saw a startling jump in incidents attributed to foreign nation-states, organised crime and terrorists. Not surprisingly, this increase corresponds with a dramatic rise in theft of intellectual property. To help protect these assets, organisations are leveraging Big Data analytics to increase awareness of internal and external threats, as well as enhance understanding of anomalous network activity. They are also adopting cloud-based cybersecurity services such as real-time monitoring and analytics. Additionally, respondents said that advanced authentication technologies help improve customer confidence in the company’s cybersecurity and privacy capabilities.

The human side of cybersecurity

Because technology alone will not eliminate all cyber-risks, many power and utilities organisations are addressing the human aspects of cybersecurity. Increasingly, they are sharing cybersecurity threat intelligence with external partners to better identify and respond to risks. Internal collaboration also is on the rise as more Boards of Directors become involved in security issues. Participation is highest in discussions on information security budgets, but we saw the biggest jumps in Board involvement in security technologies and testing.

The Global State of Information Security® is a registered trademark of International Data Group, Inc.