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Cyberattacks against the Energy Sector increased! [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Energy is crucial to our modern lifestyle. Disturbingly, reports of attempted attacks against the companies and industries that supply it are increasing every year. According to Symantec’s whitepaper on attacks against the energy sector, in the first half of 2013, the energy sector was the fifth most targeted sector worldwide, experiencing 7.6 percent of all cyberattacks.

Symantec researchers has observed that traditional energy utility companies are particularly concerned about scenarios created by the likes of Stuxnet or Disttrack/Shamoon which can sabotage industrial facilities.

Aggressors who target the energy sector also try to steal intellectual property on new technology, like wind or solar power generators or gas field exploration charts. While data theft incidents may not pose an immediate and catastrophic threat to a company, they can create a longer term strategic threat. Motivations and origins of attacks can vary considerably. A competitor may commission actions against energy companies to gain an unfair advantage. There are “hackers for hire” groups such as the Hidden Lynx group, who are more than willing to engage in this type of activity. State-sponsored hackers could target energy firms in an attempt to disable critical infrastructure. Hacktivist groups may also victimize companies to further their own political goals.

Symantec research has found that modern energy systems are becoming more complex. There are supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) or industrial control systems (ICS) that sit outside of traditional security walls. And as smart grid technology continues to gain momentum, more new energy systems will be connected to the Internet of Things, which opens up new security vulnerabilities related to having countless connected devices.

“Clearly, the energy sector is not exempt from generic and targeted attacks that every company faces,” said Luichi Robles, senior country manager of Symantec Philippines. The growing adoption of smart grids, smart meters and the “Internet of Things” will likely lead to even greater risks and challenges for energy firms this year which is why Symantec sees the need for a collaborative approach combining IT and industrial component security to protect the energy sector’s information. The following infographic illustrates some of the key points around attacks against the industries in the energy sector.

Increasing Cyberattacks On The Energy Sector

Source: Symantec

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