Utilities Have Very High Cyber Risk Exposure

Utilities Have Very High Cyber Risk Exposure
'Cyber risk is rising'.

Utilities have been scored as having very high cyber risk exposure in a new Moody’s Investor Service report.

Sectors including Regulated and Self-Regulated Utilities with Generation, Electric and Gas Transmission and Distribution, and Unregulated Utilities and Power Companies all had an overall cyber risk score of “very high” in the Moody’s report, which was sent to Rigzone recently.

For sectors with this score, the primary driver is their high level of exposure to cyber risk and less developed mitigation practices, Moody’s highlighted in the report, adding that an elevated cyber risk exposure reflects these sectors’ role as providers of critical services to the functioning of the broader economy, their high level of interconnectivity with other industries and their material reliance on digitization to operate their businesses.

Moody’s scored the Chemicals, Oil and Gas - Midstream Energy, Power Generation Projects, and Shipping sectors as having an overall cyber risk score of “high” in the report. For sectors scored high overall, Moody’s notes that the primary driver is their high level of exposure to cyber risk that is partially offset by more advanced forms of mitigation practices.

“Cyber risk is rising,” Steven Libretti, a Moody’s analyst and lead author of the report, said in a company statement.

“However, we are witnessing correlated growth in robust security program investments, as industries prioritize the need to assess and quantify the risk to inform key strategy decisions, mitigate supply chain risk, and ensure investor confidence,” Libretti added in the statement.

A recent Trellix study of 9,000 global cybersecurity professionals across several industries found that 15 percent of energy/utilities professionals cited a 10 percent loss of revenue due to security breaches in the past 12 months.

According to the study, 36 percent of cybersecurity professionals feel “very confident” in their organization’s ability to quickly adapt to new threats, while 60 percent admit security threats evolve so rapidly, they’re struggling to keep up.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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