Skills shortage becomes cyber security risk in energy industry – consultancy
A lack of IT specialists is becoming a cyber security risk for German energy industry companies, reports newsletter service Tagesspiegel Background Cybersecurity. “Electricity grid operators are currently insufficiently prepared in terms of personnel and structure for a serious cyber or sabotage attack,” said Maik Neubauer, partner at the consulting firm Decomplexity. The international organisation for cyber security ISC estimates that Germany has a shortage of almost 100,000 cyber professionals – across all industries, writes Tagesspiegel. At the same time, this shortage is likely to worsen, as a new EU directive seeks to raise the bar for sufficient cybersecurity protections as companies in several sectors will have to meet new requirements in the future. “The transmission system operators and the larger distribution system operators each have an additional need for cyber teams of ten to fifteen employees due to stricter regulations,” Neubauer added.
A successful transition to renewables will only be achieved if there is a comprehensive digitalisation of the whole energy sector, a report by research institute Fraunhofer IEE said recently. However, with greater digitalisation comes the need for greater cyber security. Fossil fuelled power systems do not require much digitalisation, as the power supply can be switched on and off depending on demand. As wind and solar power generation depends on the weather, a power system based on renewables requires a more sophisticated system to match supply and demand.