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From the personal data of government workers to critically confidential information, hackers have made the government a target for cyberattack. After several serious breaches, the government has worked to make cybersecurity a vital component of modern national security. Strong firewalls, complex data encryptions and ultra-secure networks passcodes are all part of the cyberdefenses employed to keep the nation’s data protected. However, some technology experts argue that the energy sector is still left relatively open to attack.
Strong firewalls, complex data encryptions and ultra-secure networks passcodes are all part of the cyberdefenses employed to keep the nation’s data protected. However, some technology experts argue that the energy sector is still left relatively open to attack.
Defining the energy sector
The energy sector is one of the most important parts of the nation’s critical infrastructure. It is responsible for providing energy for the entire country. The energy sector can be divided into electricity, petroleum and natural gas. The nation’s power plants, fossil-fuel reserves and natural gas storage are all parts of the energy sector.
Why the energy sector is a target
Nearly every other industry in the country relies on one of the electricity, petroleum and natural gas divisions to function, making the energy sector part of America’s lifeblood. Enemies of the state or people out to make a quick profit off information ransom have access to that same knowledge. They know as well as anyone that a blow to the energy sector would be crippling for the American government, people and economy. The Department of Homeland Security’s website states that “without a stable energy supply, health and welfare are threatened, and the U.S. economy cannot function.” Therefore, those who wish to do serious economic and social harm to the country have set their sights on the energy sector’s cyber vulnerabilities.
What role does cybersecurity play in the energy sector’s future?
Recently, many of the components that make the energy sector run have been transitioned to automated processes, and their data is stored digitally. As stated before, bad actors have targeted the energy sector, so these individuals and enemy nations will be searching for this sector’s vulnerabilities. It is crucial that the government focuses on keeping the energy sector secure by promoting strict cybersecurity practices and employing the most talented data security professionals. A combination of reliable, cutting-edge software, the use of best practices and the vigilance of cybersecurity professionals significantly lessens the digital threat faced by the energy sector.
Though it is slightly terrifying to think of what would happen should one of the nation’s critical infrastructure’s be breached, it is not something that can be ignored. It is already apparent that hackers are examining the energy sector for cyber weaknesses. Therefore, the government should act now to protect this important division before an attack occurs.
The Department of Homeland Security should consider hiring trained professionals who have been educated in the latest threats and protection strategies. If you are interested in learning how to become one of these skilled individuals, visit the National Cybersecurity Institute’s website today. There you will be able to explore various degree programs and courses available to students of the institution.