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IT modernisation in the energy sector: Preventing cyberthreats to critical infrastructure
IT modernisation is essential for safeguarding information and nations are investing in cyber security advancements that strengthen protection of critical infrastructure, including power grids. Renewable energies are incorporated and distribution channels are optimised to adequately supply buildings, homes, vehicles and customer demands, and advancement in energy storage is progressing to accommodate a variety of sources. The Internet, the varying Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technologies (OT) leveraged to meet supply and demand are compelling to customers, yet such capability broadens the risk of vulnerabilities affecting customer confidence. The energy sector is embracing modernisation as a vehicle for mitigating risks through grid modernisation.1 Energy is an enterprise strategic asset and there remain opportunities for smarter management and modelling so that the state of utilities is known at any given time and energy is continuously available. With analogies to random incidents, scenarios and data as a strategic asset, this paper shares IT modernisation considerations for cyber risk mitigation in the energy sector.
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Pamela K. Isom Pamela Isom is deputy chief information officer (DCIO) for architecture, engineering, technology and innovation at the United States Department of Energy (DOE). She directs digital transformation and IT modernisation, implementing innovative, safe and mission-focused products and integration services. Leveraging her strong track record of innovation, collaboration, leadership, foresight, and blending mission with IT capability, Pamela is responsible for and maintains exemplary cyber security and data stewardship and is an excellent adviser to senior executives and officials. Before joining DOE she directed application engineering and development at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) where she was responsible for innovative, safe and secure solutions that protect intellectual property and associated rights. She brings over 20 years’ private sector expertise, working with various clients in financial services, distribution, insurance and public sectors, to the federal government and her achievements have led to numerous recognitions, including being honoured as a GEARS in Government agency awardee, National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Women of Innovation exhibitor and honours as a trailblazing woman in labour and business. Pamela is the author of a book and numerous publications on various subjects and she has been granted five patents. She holds a Master’s degree in information systems management from Walden University and a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu.