Asset Operators are coming under increased pressure to measure up or have their license to operate scrutinized. Though the power industry gets singled out because loss of supply impacts all other industries with major infrastructure (eg Water, Transport, Ports) the critical nature of supply of power is still managed the same for all big asset managers in terms of technology and devices.
We are seeing non-power utilities very “concerned” about device management and how to catch-up to others. Having generic passwords in control devices have long been flagged as a very basic security breach, are still shipped from the vendor this way. Sometimes these things just never get changed. Yes, this is still happening today. If the only thing you had to do be compliant was sort this out, then remote device management, secure management of device configuration files and the right firmware would all be the icing on the cake if they could be resolved with the same software at the same time.
Leveraging what is in place for many power utilities who have taken a proactive approach to device management is a clear path to reducing man hours devoted to regularly changing passwords every time a staff member leaves an organisation. Checking out passwords with temporary access and having contingency methods in place, takes away the incredible risks many operators have silently suffered with for many years. It doesn’t need to be this way.
We expect with the latest announcements from the Australian Attorney General that time is of the essence. We can already sense the urgency. If you already have been noted as a Critical Infrastructure Provider and you do not comply with the governing requirements, then time has run out and you must act immediately. For everyone else, it’s only a matter of time before this constraint comes your way. Acting early means it is on your timetable.
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