RIYADH: Cybersecurity never stops evolving and collaboration across sectors can enhance digital safety in the energy sector said Jeremy Jurgens the managing director of World Economic Forum at the third edition of Global Cybersecurity Forum 2022 in Riyadh.
Stressing the seriousness of the threat to the sector, Jurgens said: “In our 2022 outlook, the energy sector is the second most targeted sector after manufacturing.”
During the forum, CEO of SITE Saad Al-Aboodi stressed that importance of cybersecurity impacts all verticals, saying: “I believe it is the most broadly horizontal sector as it cuts across all other industries.”
“Today, energy is the fuel for the prosperity of all other industries. Without it, we will not have prosperity in education, healthcare, transportation, aviation, entertainment. The fuel for that prosperity needs to be protected,” he said.
Al-Aboodi pointed out three main commonalities that connect the cybersecurity domain with the energy domain saying: “Both the energy and cybersecurity sector directly impact the global economy, the national security, and the human lives. They have a special bond that is greater than any other relationship that you might find in other industries.”
Robert Putman, ABB's global manager for CyberSecurity Products and Services, said that lack of knowledge was contributing hugely to the problem: “People do not understand what the risk is. They do not understand how to address it. Complacency is one of the root causes of the risks and exposure we have right now.”
The market has undergone a transition, which, like the process of insurance, involves the modeling of risks. Using these models, we will be able to understand the impact of that risk on operational assets, Putman said.
A data-driven approach to defining risk, and a better understanding of its impacts, would greatly benefit all of us in terms of prioritizing them, he added: “Government can be very impactful in the development and enforcement of regulatory standards in cyberspace.”
Further elaborating on the major threat the world faces over cybersecurity, the senior vice president of Cybersecurity & Global CISO Schneider Electric Christopher Blassiau said the energy landscape is changing rapidly, becoming more decentralized, and production, generation, and demand are becoming more widely distributed. “There is a big amount of risk,” Blassiau said.
Blassiau said that due to the absolute necessity for a green agenda, digitalization is going at a fast pace and is bringing a complete visibility of asset performance and a better dialogue between human and machine.