Posted to Energy Central in the Digital Utility Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst, Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Oct 18, 2022

This month is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, as recognized by CISA, and because cybersecurity has become such a critical part of utility operations we wanted to pay homage with a series of Q&A's on the topic during the course of October for our resident experts to chime in on. Feel free to answer this and other questions you see come in, and also we invite you to submit your own question as well by clicking here

The rapid acceleration of technology designed to help bolster the cybersecurity of the grid and utility assets across it makes it sometimes challenging just to keep up to date on what each power provider should be investing in. So for the cybersecurity experts in the community, I'd love to see a discussion: what tools are out there for cybersecurity that you don't think are being utilized to the greatest degree possible? What solutions are being too commonly overlooked? Discuss in your answers below. 


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I'm a bit biased in this response, but I think it's still worth stating.

All successful cyber-attacks apply software in some form or fashion to carry out their nefarious acts. It doesn't matter if it's a VBA macro in a Phishing email attachment or an app you download from an app store and install it in your smart phone - it's all software. Which enables me to posit confidently "Software is the root of all evil in successful cyber attacks".

So, if you want to prevent from becoming a victim of a successful cyber-attack you must start by closely examining the risk in any software artifact, i.e. app in an app store and other sources of software, before purchasing and installing. Visibility into software risk is possible using existing tools and methods, preventing risky software from being installed, ruining your day and your data. Look for Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management solutions that follow NIST C-SCRM best practices described in NIST SP 800-161 and other NIST Guidance, described in OMB Memo M-22-18.

If you believe, as I do, that software is the root of all evil in a successful cyber-attack then consider implementing tools that will help you detect risky software before any attempt to purchase or install software