Trends & Challenges of the Utility Market

April 25, 2022

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A perspective piece from Alert Enterprise CSO Mark Weatherford

As the level of global security threats continue to increase, all eyes are turning to the utilities sector. Here’s a quick rundown: given the changing security landscape, offenders have moved on from their usual targets to industrial control systems, a more lucrative focal point. When you add ongoing global conflicts to the equation, you get a perfect storm of unwavering security threats aimed at utility industries — from oil and gas to energy and water.

But if we’re being honest, the utilities industries have been compromised to a certain degree for quite some time. The problem lies in the business needs often being as complex as the technology solutions aimed at solving them. And because of the ever-evolving communication gaps, when security breaches happen in one area of a company, they are more likely to spill over into others. The result? Stolen proprietary information, compromised identities and the loss of millions of company dollars.

The obvious solution is to eliminate communication gaps, overcome security silos and mitigate insider and outsider threats through the convergence of IT, OT and physical security. Here’s how:


What to set your sights on

Think convergence: Most companies operate in silos that often don’t have a clear line of communication. Integrating physical security, HR security and operational security gives you a single point of visibility into your entire security posture and solves multiple business challenges, all at once.

Integrate supply risk management: The changing security landscape puts supply risk management in the hot seat. Truth is, it’s no longer a matter of simply getting from point A to point B. Now we’re forced to consider other logistical factors: Who is building these micro-processors? What is going into all the devices that we use? Who is managing the shipment of materials? Supply risk management needs to be an integral part of the convergence conversation. 

Skip the homegrown solutions: Many companies create their own programs that they end up having to integrate with various components like identity management, access management and physical access. This very rarely breeds efficient results. And even when it does, the time, money and resources needed to develop and manage it all tends to add up. 

With more and more at stake, companies can’t afford to work in security silos. The good news: you don’t have to. Contact us to learn how you can converge your IT, OT, HR and physical security systems into one integrated, easy-to-use platform. Bonus: there’s no coding required.

Want to learn more? Click below to watch the full interview with our Chief Strategy Officer, Mark Weatherford.

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