Indeed, there are countless benefits the internet and advanced technology could offer us. However, no matter how good it is, the bad guys of cyberspace will always find a way to ruin it. Even cyber attacks can happen in the utility sector.
This is the exact scenario in the renewable energy industry since hackers are targeting the oil, gas, solar and other energy-related sector. While more and more locations are utilizing renewable energy, the risk for cyber attacks are also increasing.
Oil and gas imports are vulnerable to geopolitical influence and it is not surprising that hackers will hit areas that are using these energy sources. But even the wind and solar energy industries are also under attack. Apparently, the people behind the cyber attacks are aiming to destroy the entire renewable energy industry as a whole or use it to spread massive destruction.
These attacks cannot be denied since there are already recorded cyber attacks in various locations. One is in Europe in 2013 and the other one is in Ukraine in 2015. But these are not the only ones. There are actually more hacking attempts in different areas around the globe.
So, what could the government and private industries do about this? An urgent need to increase cyber security is apparent and this could be made possible by taking diverse steps towards full cyber defense.
Best practices should be created to safeguard renewable energy industries. Passwords should be unique and should not be shared in public. Operators should be well-trained on handling possible cyber attacks. Certain groups are created which primarily aims to brainstorm and develop strategic plans to make sure that every equipment follows security measures and cyber defense requirements.
The growth of renewable energy and the increased availability of technologies like sensors and big data makes cyber defense even more challenging. But for sure, there is a rationalized solution to safeguard the renewable energy industry. Whatever that is, it should be applied now.