Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 76 | Page 74


Renewable energy companies in Africa must protect against cyber threats targeting assets

Cyber threat actors see an opportunity as African energy companies embrace renewable energy and digital microgrids writes Bernard Montel at Tenable .

Green energy is a key piece of the puzzle for the future of our planet , and while there is an uphill battle to build sufficient renewable energy capacity across the globe , there is another critical issue decision makers should not lose sight of – cybersecurity . The sad reality is threat actors see the renewable energy sector through the same dollar-sign lenses that they see every other industry through .

Last year , ahead of CS Hub ’ s Government and Critical Infrastructure Digital Summit , Anuj Sanghvi , Technical Lead at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory , said renewable energy penetration is on the rise and warned , this adoption makes them a lucrative target for cyber-attacks due to the interconnectedness with the power grid and their potential catastrophic consequences .
A Google search will reveal that renewable energy players have already fallen prey to cyber-attacks in recent times . Three German wind-energy firms , Deutsche Windtechnik AG , Nordex SE , Enercon GmbH , saw their operations disrupted by cyber-attacks and , in late 2021 , wind turbine manufacturer Vestas was targeted by cybercriminals , and saw its IT systems and data compromised .
These are few examples of cyber-attacks against the renewable energy sector . Threat actors will continue their assault as attack paths and surfaces evolve in-sync with the adoption of modern technology and systems . All this points to
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