Energy Industry

The US has more than 6000 power plants, heavily relying on pipelines to move fuel around the country. Worldwide, over 60,000 power facilities range from coal-fired plants to hydroelectric dams to wind farms generating over 6,000 gigawatts. This critical infrastructure fuels the worldwide economy because all other sectors depend on a functioning power grid. Advances in Operational Technology (OT) have led to this industry becoming increasingly automated and connected.

With the growing dependence on networked systems to manage operations in the sector, it is essential to recognize that such reliance presents benefits and vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, this growing reliance on technology has also made industrial security more susceptible to cyber threats, with the potential for more attacks like the Colonial Pipeline incident lurking in the shadows.

Attacks on the power grid can be catastrophic,
affecting hospitals and emergency services and costing lives.

OT Security Energy Attack Graph

The AI-Powered Threat to the Energy Industry

Since 2017, cyber attackers have rapidly increased the volume of attacks on the energy industry, driving it to become the second-highest industry target of OT attacks. reaching an all-time high for the number of attacks in a single year. Recent years have seen the energy sector fall victim to numerous cyber attacks. The year 2021 witnessed one of the largest ransomware supply chain attacks in US history executed by DarkSide threat actors, which targeted the Colonial Pipeline. The company paid the hackers nearly $5 million in digital currency to regain control of their systems.

As new AI-powered attack vectors like WormGPT and Fraud GPT fuel significant enhancements for cybercriminals, bad actors, and hostile nation-states, the energy sector must deploy AI-resistant solutions that minimize the attack surface available and break the cyber kill chain.

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Securing Energy Systems

Governments are taking action to ensure the security of energy systems by implementing laws and regulations, promoting the use of diverse energy technologies, and collaborating with businesses to enhance industry resilience. However, organizations must adopt innovative security solutions to ensure the continuous and reliable operation of vital systems and services and to foster a more secure and resilient future.

BlastWave’s Energy OT Cybersecurity Solutions

BlastWave is delivering a radically simplified OT Cybersecurity solution for the energy industry. BlastShield is designed to simplify how secure energy OT networks are deployed across the entire lifecycle, from generation, transmission, distribution, and the supporting OT network.

BlastWave offers three key technologies to protect the Energy industry:

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Make Devices Undiscoverable OT Security

Network Cloaking:

Network Cloaking ensures that critical yet outdated legacy infrastructure such as PLCs, DCSs, RTUs, SCADA, and HMIs become invisible to external threats. Rather than just obfuscating these systems, they do not appear in any scans or probes from a hacker. With BlastShield, manufacturers ensure OT cybersecurity and align with industry guidance like NERC CIP, NIST 800-53, and 800-207 (Zero Trust). With Network Cloaking, AI-enhanced reconnaissance tools cannot probe into the internal workings of a factory because they have no path to reach the internal OT networks.

OT Secure Remote Access:

BlastShield provides OT Secure Remote Access to energy systems, ensuring plant operators can monitor and manage pipelines, sensors, wells, and other systems without exposing them to cyber threats. BlastShield’s phishing-resistant MFA biometric authentication protects against GenAI-powered phishing attacks and MFA hijacking. A full mesh of P2P encrypted tunnels is created to secure traffic from remote users to a power plant, distribution network, and any agent-enabled systems, protecting against Man-in-the-middle attacks.

Network Segmentation (MicroSegmentation):

BlastShield simplifies the challenge of microsegmentation by creating simple peer-to-peer encrypted and authenticated tunnels to each device or group of devices without complex firewall rulesets. IT and OT network staff and temporary contractors are permitted access to only the systems they are responsible for, and privileges can be granted and revoked in real-time. BlastShield prevents lateral movement by Secure Remote Access users within the network and can even provide lateral movement protection at Layer 2 for local network connections.