One only needs to read the headlines to understand that critical infrastructure in the U.S., including the energy sector, is an obvious target for malicious actors. According to a new report by Marsh, entitled “Could Energy Industry Dynamics be Creating an Impending Cyber Storm?”, more than one in four respondents of a survey aimed at the energy sector admitted that their company had been hit by a damaging cyber-attack in the last year, and more than 75 percent of the respondents were worried that a cyber-attack would interrupt business operations in the future.

Despite the worry, half of the executives surveyed were unable to quantify or envision what the worst exposure would be to the company from a cyber-attack.

According to Marsh, “As the energy sector systems that monitor and run operations become more interconnected from smart grids, smart devices, and the growing internet of things, it increases the risk that a cyber-attack could result in physical damage.” A cyber-attack could also disrupt operations and services provided to customers. Hence the timely project announced this month by NIST, which focuses on the energy sector and asset management [see related post]. Perhaps the NIST project, a collaboration with the energy sector, will find solutions and hope to help the worried energy sector.