IBM X-Force Research: Security Trends in the Energy and Utilities Industry

Keeping the Lights On

Even with a strong legacy of regulatory compliance and billions of dollars infrastructure investment, electric, gas, and water utilities are still subject to successful cyber attacks. The industry views that prospect with grave concern, as the consequences of such an attack on the companies supplying a city or a nation’s fuel, electricity and drinking water could reach far beyond any purely economic impact. The health and welfare of a whole region or even an entire nation could be at risk.

Attacks on electrical grids and utility providers have increased steadily over the past decade, most notably the coordinated cyber attack on a Ukrainian power grid in December 2015 that resulted in tens of thousands of people losing electricity. More recently, sophisticated malware designed to perform reconnaissance on an energy grid’s system was found on a dark web hacking forum. Clearly, bad actors are actively seeking ways to attack the energy and utilities industry, and there is obvious and immediate cause for concern as an attack on an energy company could have a domino effect impacting all the industries that depend on it.

This IBM X-Force Research report was created by the IBM Managed Security Services Threat Research group, a team of experienced and skilled security analysts working diligently to keep IBM clients informed and prepared for the latest cybersecurity threats. Read the report to gain unique insights from IBM X-Force and recommendations from IBM Security experts to protect your valuable assets and data.

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