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Kaspersky takes cyber protection to energy utilities

Kaspersky takes cyber protection to energy utilities

Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity for Energy, a vertical advanced package for energy enterprises, based on Kaspersky Lab’s suite for protection of industrial infrastructure, is now available to all energy utilities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Announcing their latest industrial shield, Kaspersky Lab stated that modern electrical power grids are complex networks, with integrated automation and control functions. “However, because they communicate through open protocols, they do not have sufficient built-in cybersecurity functions to combat the increasingly sophisticated range of security threats they face.”

A recent Kaspersky report on industrial cybersecurity found that 92% of externally available industrial control system (ICS) devices use open and insecure Internet connection protocols. Since 2010 the number of ICS-component vulnerabilities has also increased by a factor of 10, making these devices an easy and lucrative target for cybercriminals.

An ongoing case of industrial cybercrime is the recent hacking of PABX systems which lead to damages of about N$6 million for more than fifty Telecom Namibia clients. A similar hack is just as possible for NamPower’s extensive electricity grid, or for smaller grids run by municipalities.

Kaspersky said its Industrial CyberSecurity for Energy has been developed to help energy utilities secure every layer of their industrial infrastructure, without impacting the operational continuity and consistency of technological processes. Kaspersky Lab’s solution protects SCADA level control centers and Substation Automation Systems on every level: upper level of automation including Servers, HMI, Gateways and Engineering workstations. Secondary automation equipment is also protected.

“Electrical power equipment automation, control and protection are no longer handled by closed systems and, as things stand, detecting a potential threat is extremely difficult, both technically and organisationally,” said Andrey Suvorov, the Head of Critical Infrastructure Protection at Kaspersky Lab adding that energy companies need to bolster their defences to combat increasingly prevalent cyberattacks and avoid the nightmare scenario of complete loss of service.

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