One of the hottest topics in today’s business world is that of cybersecurity. Protecting your utility’s customer data is not only a legal requirement, but it’s also absolutely essential for the satisfaction of your customers.
This is particularly important in an environment where cybercrimes on business are commonplace. Carbon Black’s second Canada Threat Report found 88 percent of Canadian businesses reporting suffering a data breach during the past 12 month.
Meanwhile, cyber theft is the fastest-growing crime in the US, with research from Cybersecurity Ventures reporting that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion each year by 2021 - up from $3 trillion in 2015.
In fact, this trend is particularly troublesome for companies in the utilities sector. Detailed analysis from Accenture found that companies in the utilities industry continues to have the highest cost of cybercrime (along with the banking sector at an 11 percent increase) with a 16 percent increase in the average annual cost.
Investing in ways to protect your utility from cybercrime is key to your company’s bottom line, customer satisfaction metrics and general survival in what is becoming a rapidly high-tech industry.
To help prepare your utility for the future, in this blog SilverBlaze looks at exactly what cybercrime is, what your utility can do to enhance its security measures and how an innovative customer portal can help.
What is cybercrime?
The term cybercrime refers to a wide range of criminal activities that target a computer or network. By targeting businesses such as utility providers, cybercriminals are able to steal personal data, damage devices or ransom data in a bid to make financial gain.
Cybercriminals may target private personal data such as payment card information, as well as corporate data for theft and resale.
There are many examples of cybercrime, such as:
- Ransomware attacks
- Malware attacks
- Identify theft
- Distributed DoS attacks
- And many others
What utilities can do to enhance their security measures
As the number of cyberattacks increases, and the time it takes to resolve them grows, the overall cost of cybercrime for businesses affected also rises. That’s why the best way to avoid these costs and the potential downtime that comes with it is to set up security measures that stop cybercrimes from occurring.
To enhance your existing antivirus software, your utility company can further protect itself from cybercrime by:
Backing up data and storing it separately: Ransomware is a form of malicious software in which a criminal encrypts a victim's computer and then demands a ransom to restore access. By simply backing up your company’s data, a ransomware attacker will no longer have the upper hand if they manage to steal your company’s data.
Secure hardware that leaves the office: The working world has become significantly more flexible in recent years. It’s possible that your utility now allows employees to work from outside the office with a company laptop, but this increases the threat of loss or theft of hardware. You can protect the data stored on these devices by creating complicated passwords, install ‘find my device’ software and a few further simple security measures.
Train your employees: It’s likely that your employees don’t understand the full impact that cybercrime can have on your company, let alone know how to recognize external threats. By ensuring your staff members are trained on the importance of cybersecurity, your utility will be able to create a security-focused workplace culture.
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal will improve your utility’s security
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities can bring your organization a wide range of customer-facing benefits, but did you know that it can also significantly enhance your utility’s security measures?
Our innovative and award-winning customer portal is designed to safely collect data and information from your customers. This data is then properly secured, with access only possible with the proper authorization.
Not only will your customers have peace-of-mind in the knowledge that their personal information is safe, your organization will also benefit from state-of-the-art cybercrime protection - preventing unnecessary downtime and lost revenues.
Want to learn more about our Customer Portal for Utilities and how it protects your utility from the threat of cybercrime? Contact our team of experts today. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.