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Cybersecure operation

The role of cybersecurity in wind energy

Big data, remote monitoring, and process automation are becoming more prominent in wind energy. As a result of many systems and machines being networked, the likelihood of cyberthreats increases. What can operators do to protect wind farms in the digital age?

There are many ways that digital technologies can enhance operation and maintenance in wind energy. Examples of this include boosting productivity with artificial intelligence and machine learning, digitizing inventory management, and utilizing predictive analytics for maintenance. While these benefits are clear, they also open up new vulnerabilities in wind farm security that hackers can exploit.

Connected assets can lead to a domino effect

Large centralized infrastructures, such as wind farms or power grids, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. A successful hack could manipulate all assets in a network. Consequences can be wide reaching, from service interruption to facility-wide downtime or even danger to human lives.

Operators should take certain steps to secure their assets. Controlling and securing remote access is greatly important. As many wind farms are monitored and even operated remotely, remote access poses one of the greatest threats to security. Operators can use encryption and secure authentication to keep hackers at bay. Cybersecurity can be further enhanced by security monitoring and incident response – enabling staff to act as quickly as possible in the event of an incident.

As wind energy companies streamline operation and maintenance with technology, they must also make sure that their cybersecurity is up to the task of keeping their assets safeguarded.

Training staff in cybersecurity measures is another factor for remaining safe. Phishing attacks can trick personnel into giving up information that could threaten the security of a wind farm or power grid. Employees should be well versed in recognizing these types of attacks so that they do not provide criminals with sensitive information. Firewalls, strong passwords, and limiting who has access to administrator accounts can all make cybersecurity more robust and reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.

Talk to someone about selecting the right digital strategy

SKF supports its customers with digital technologies, such as IoT-enabled devices. Experts from SKF are available to talk with companies about a digitized strategy for wind farms and keeping safe in the digital age. National and international organizations, such as the Department on Energy in the USA, as well as parties that specialize in industrial cybersecurity also offer companies guidance.

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