Secure Utilities, the Melbourne event showcasing the latest ideas in data security, is only two weeks away, and with cyber attacks specifically targeting the energy sector on the rise, it can’t come soon enough for utilities.

The energy industry is the most targeted private sector for cyber attacks, with the highest number of compromised systems, receiving 18 per cent of attacks, and among the most likely to receive malicious emails.

The Australian Government has responded to the increasing cyber security dangers by laying out five key themes in its cyber security strategy to 2020, intending to strengthen Australia’s defences against threats and promote prosperity and growth.

The government will allocate $31.9 million in funding for the Cyber Security Growth Centre from 2016-17 to 2019-20. The government’s strategy acknowledges that increased connectivity means innovation and growth and that businesses need to be online to be competitive; however, this connectivity brings risks.

This comes as a US report warned that privately owned parts of the US electricity grid are in imminent danger of cyber attacks.

The Department of Energy’s second Quadrennial Energy Review said advancements in technology had led to a more dynamic and efficient electricity system and had increasingly integrated existing power networks, but this integration now required improved security.

The report said “The current cybersecurity landscape is characterised by rapidly evolving threats and vulnerabilities, juxtaposed against the slower-moving deployment of defence measures.”

According to the review, a successful attack could cause a power outage and undermine vital defence infrastructure, damage the economy, and risk lives.

With all these risks, utilities need to prepare. Secure Utilities, taking place at the Rendezvous Hotel in Melbourne on 23 March 2017, is looking at the issues around cyber security in the age of digitalisation.

Featuring an expert lineup, including PwC’s Mark Coughlin, Professor Chris Leckie from the Oceania Cyber Security Centre and Jarrod Loidl from ANZ Bank, the event will tackle a vast range of topics – from securing the grid to protecting against denial-of-service attacks.

Is your utility prepared for the increasing threat of cyber attack?

Register now for Secure Utilities and ensure you utility is up to date with the latest ideas and technology to keep your assets and data safe.


Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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