Cyber savvy: Securing operational technology assets

Business leaders who have security as part of their overall business strategy discussion are better positioned to balance the technologies, processes and resources needed to anticipate constantly evolving cyber risks. The term ‘operational technology’ (OT) refers to the hardware and software used to control industrial processes and infrastructure, particularly in industries such as energy, mining, utilities, manufacturing and transport. A cyber-attack on an OT environment can have serious and wide ranging consequences beyond just financial losses – including prolonged outages of critical services, environmental damage and even the loss of human life. There are highly skilled and motivated adversaries actively seeking to exploit the security weaknesses in OT networks, process control systems and critical infrastructure. Their motivations range from economic benefit and espionage through to malicious disruption and destruction. While many operators in these sectors have recognised the need to increase focus and spending on the security of their corporate IT systems, this has not been matched for OT systems, leading to critical vulnerabilities. We have drawn on our experience conducting cyber security assessments and penetration tests across the globe to identify the 10 most common security flaws in OT networks.

The Swiss Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI) highlights the importance of a cross functional approach to combat cyber threats to Operational Technology and Infrastructure: “The enumerated measures should be embedded in an overarching security process, ensuring that the measures are applied, regularly verified, and continuously improved. Moreover, it is important for operators of systems to know the current threat situation, to monitor that situation regularly, and to incorporate the insights into implementation and improvement of the security measures. For this purpose, close cooperation between risk management, engineering, and operations is of the utmost importance.”

Read the report:
Cyber Savvy securing operational technology assets December 2015

The 10 most likely ways your operation technology network will be compromised:

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The changing role of the CFO: How energy transformation is shifting the CFO focus

Our new Thought Leadership report

The new report, which forms part of a series of PwC publications on energy transformation, looks at how the power sector CFO role is evolving, the challenges it needs to address and the capabilities that will be crucial for delivering first-class performance.

It looks at eight specific challenges arising out of energy transformation:

1. Anticipating and leveraging the impact of new technologies
2. Reassessing and restructuring the asset portfolio to optimise value
3. Designing new ventures and commercial arrangements
4. Achieving full recovery of prior investments
5. Influencing policymakers and regulators
6. Replacing declining revenues from traditional businesses
7. Measuring enterprise performance as business models shift
8. Attracting capital through appropriate risk allocation

Which are your challenges and how does this effects your company? Please get in touch with me for any further discussion.

Download the full report here.

Be ready: the new global P&U Thought Leadership report is coming…

We are pleased to announce the global launch of our new Thought Leadership report:

“The changing role of the CFO
How energy transformation is shifting the CFO focus”

The changing role of the CFO: how energy transformation is shifting the CFO focus shows how CFOs in the power sector are shifting from stewardship to  strategy, value realisation and optimisation. The new report, which forms part of a series of PwC publications on energy transformation, looks  at how the power sector CFO role is evolving, the challenges it needs to address and the capabilities that will be crucial for delivering first-class performance.

The report emphasises that the historical CFO capabilities related to management reporting, performance management and investor relationships will continue, but they will become more akin to minimum requirements. Alongside them, CFOs need to be better at communicating where strategy is taking the company and the link between strategy and value realisation.

Be ready for the launch on 24 November 2015!

Digital utility Transformation: PwC power & utilities roundtable discussion paper

Digital utility transformationMore than 80 senior executives and experts from 12 different countries gathered in May 2015 in Paris, France, for PwC’s roundtable on the digital utility of the future and the strategies that companies are implementing to get there.

“The promise of digital transformation is huge,” observed Norbert Schwieters, PwC’s Global Power & Utilities Leader. Introducing the roundtable event, he went on: “From grid management to customer relations, an effective digital strategy can revolutionise all areas of the power utility business. It’s at the heart of the energy transformation challenge.”

Main topics:

• making moves along the digital transformation road
• digital promise and reality
• different customer expectations in a digital world
• delivering digital securely
• digital in the world of the ‘internet of things’

Download the discussion paper here.

If you have any further questions please contact me.

 

A different energy future

14th PwC Global Power & Utilities Surveyenergy

We are witnessing considerable disruption in the power sector arising from a combination of policy, technological and customer change. It’s creating a transformation in how we think about, produce and use electricity. In some parts of the world, disruption is already taking a strong hold. In other parts of the world, it is just beginning. It comes on top of the already considerable existing challenges companies face in providing energy security, affordability and sustainability.

The PwC Global Power & Utilities Survey goes to the heart of boardroom thinking in utility companies across the globe. In this, our 14th edition, we look at the major changes facing the sector as it gets to grips with the prospect of a very different energy world ahead. We look at the way companies expect their markets and business models to change in the period to 2030 and get their viewpoint on the outlook for the energy trilemma and risks facing them in the short term. For many, the current way of doing business is at stake and survey participants give their insight on what operational changes lie ahead and whether the future will bring success or failure.

Read more here.