Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Clean energy vs cyber-crime: Why a holistic approach is essential

Cyber security
Cyber security

While many countries are already taking decisive steps to try and reduce their carbon footprint, the global cost of inaction on climate change is estimated to reach US $23 trillion a year by 2020. But what more can the energy industry be doing to help bring about change?

Investment in new and emerging technologies as a way to change consumption habits has increased in recent years, however high-profile cyber-attacks are causing concern, with global business leaders holding back on their digitization strategies as a result.

In recent news, the UN Secretary General declared that the world is facing a grave climate emergency, while cities such as New York and Sydney have called for an immediate response to the climate crisis, urging residents to make necessary adjustments to help slow the pace of change. This marks a seismic shift in the way governments, businesses and communities are talking about climate – we’re now facing a very real and immediate risk to our planet.

For energy businesses, playing their part in this mobilization on climate change means delivering on a time old dilemma – supplying affordable, reliable and, most importantly, sustainable solutions to customers. To do this, the industry must be willing to invest in and bank on developing technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, as well as blockchain, machine learning and AI, which are already creating significant changes in the way companies operate.

An interesting example of this change is the growth of peer-to-peer energy trading in countries such as Germany, Australia and Canada, brought about by advancements in blockchain. This specific solution allows people who have renewable energy supplies to “sell” surplus power directly to those around them. Local power generation is indeed expected to become more and more widespread, however greater connectivity and infrastructure is required in order for this to work in the long term.

Mathias Steck

The challenge? Research by Osborne Clarke has found that 74% of energy companies are reluctant to adopt new technologies because of privacy concerns and the increasing threats around data security. The recent cyber-attack on Norsk Hydro, for example, highlighted the huge economic impact incidents like this can have, with the overall cost expected to reach almost US $75 million. While the financial consequences have proven severe, the bigger issue is the impact that cyber security breaches could have on progression. Businesses are in very real danger of falling behind the curve if they don’t move with the times and embrace breaking technologies.

To ensure that digitization continues, there are three important steps companies operating within the energy industry should be taking. The first is to continue raising awareness of not only the climate emergency, but the 21st century security threat. We cannot continue to look at these issues in isolation. With increased digitization across sectors, the cyber risk also becomes more acute.

To counteract these threats, governments must also look at the regulations they currently have in place and whether more work needs to be done to keep up with the advancements in technology, and safeguard against the risks that accompany them. Only by creating a level playing field between the energy and technology sectors will companies feel comfortable to continue taking long-term action to slow, and perhaps even reverse, the climate emergency.

Finally, it’s important that energy businesses change their thinking when designing and planning their next asset or solution. It’s no longer enough to just consider the immediate challenge. Instead, companies will need to remain flexible so that they are able to endure the unknown threats of the future. By futureproofing – either when retrofitting existing assets or designing news ones – businesses will ensure they are agile enough to keep pace and evolve.

To hear more on this topic, you can listen to Mathias’ recent podcast – Clean energy vs cyber-crime – as part of DNV GL’s new podcast series Face the Facts, which aims to share opinions and insights on the latest global news stories from the world’s leading energy experts.

Mathias Steck is executive vice president and regional manager for the Digital Hub Asia, at DNV GL.

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts