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Cybersecurity in the Wake of COVID-19




Traditionally, the technology that controls the physical infrastructure has been managed separately from network and information technology. However, with the Internet of Things, more devices than ever are connected to the internet, which means cybersecurity must now also extend into the physical world.

As part of new network management systems, more companies are now implementing security convergence to better protect their assets. In addition to cybersecurity processes, proper physical security measures and plans are helping businesses protect themselves from data breaches and cybersecurity threats.

While advanced technologies, such as IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices), Smart Metering, and new performance algorithms, offer significant improvements in network operations, real-time systems surveillance and asset management also increase the number of points on the network that malicious hackers can attack to gain access and compromise data systems.

Cybersecurity can be compromised

In managing information and controlling access to systems, it is vital to assess the vulnerabilities of electrical and computer systems, both from the energy supply and demand side of things, as well as physical access to the system.

The good news is that technological developments in security extend to the physical components and access control solutions in the sector, too. Combining the two systems under one strategy is key to improving the IT and operational resilience of the infrastructure.

There are two ways in which cybersecurity can be compromised: in the public sector, and in the private business sector. For overall cybersecurity, many countries are implementing updated guidelines in public policy, regulations, procedures, and technologies geared towards keeping public networks secure and safe to use.

When considering aspects such as the interoperability of distributed generation systems, Smart Grids, and non-conventional renewable generation, public sectors need to take into account the prominence of IoT and automation to optimize energy demand processes and monitor usage across the network.

In the current crisis generated by COVID-19, it is essential that the minimum protocols for security and shielding of operations, the transmission of information, and interaction on information networks are followed. The massive use of the internet across all aspects of daily life creates weaknesses and can promote vulnerable spaces that in many cases have not prepared for the influx of users on their networks. As more companies shift to remote and hybrid work, and people are sharing more information across insecure networks, data breaches are an inevitability that could be costly to mitigate.

High-level data encryption

The best way to address this new environment is by developing incident response plans to detect, contain, and eliminate cyberattacks with minimal impact on operations. Businesses can ensure the security of their IP networks by requiring multi-factor authentication from all users, limiting the number of administrators who can access the servers, and ensuring all communication uses high-level data encryption.

In addition, physical security measures can help prevent unwanted individuals from gaining access to server rooms and data storage facilities. Proper surveillance is also key, both in monitoring activity on the network, as well as visually verifying all activity in high-security spaces by using a highly recommended Cyber security company.

As we continue to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, security remains a top concern across every industry and sector. It’s important that businesses are able to keep employee and customer information safe, and that internal company files aren’t accessible by outsiders. In addition to new technology and systems, training all the users to spot threats like phishing and social engineering is key to successful cyber and physical security planning.


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