The Nordic region includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Åland. Together, they have a vision of being the most sustainable green energy region in the world by 2030, and the European Union may soon join their electricity market. However, it’s important to remain aware that this marvelous vision of the future is under threat. The integration necessary for such a large-scale green energy initiative creates attractive cyber attack targets, which is why these countries have recently updated cybersecurity regulations and pledged to defend each other against ransomware attacks and other threats.
TXOne’s OT zero trust is uniquely positioned to safeguard green energy in the Nordic region using the 4 cornerstones of security inspection, trust lists, network segmentation, and asset shielding. Our solutions are highly-certified and already in use by green energy leaders, where our OT zero trust approach has made facilities more secure and streamlined compliance with regulations such as the NERC CIP and the Chilean cybersecurity standards for the electricity sector.
The cheapest and most plentiful sources of renewable energy in the Nordic countries are wind, water, solar, biomass, and geothermal. Additionally, per the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy, hydrogen is currently thought to have potential as a future green energy source. While this is an exciting development, we can expect organizations developing this power generation method to come under cyber attack as soon as their operations become load-bearing. The modern, interconnected equipment necessary for any green energy generation facility to function often gives hackers a stepping stone from which to launch mass disruption.
There are several reasons why green energy must be protected in the Nordic region. It’s cold there. Electricity is used to heat homes, to heat water, and to keep the lights on during the long, dark winters, and they have abundant natural resources to produce it because many energy-intensive industries are centered there. The Nordic region’s ability to generate an affordable, reliable supply of green energy makes this region more attractive to businesses, but critical infrastructure must be ever-prepared for the attention of both cyber crime organizations seeking a fast payout or state-sponsored cyber warfare with a focus on damage, disruption, or strategic effect on a conflict.
How the Nordic electricity market develops will depend on the energy producers, consumers, transmission system operators (TSOs) responsible for the high voltage network, national regulators (NRAs), and the power exchanges. Currently, these parties work together at the annual Nordic Electricity Market Forum. In 2018, this forum decided that their vision for their electricity market included cyber-defenses as a high priority – to meet this vision while maintaining a high focus on productivity and output, TXOne Networks recommends the OT zero trust approach.