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Three Ways Identity Security Protects Critical Infrastructure for Utilities

Author: Rob Wilson

Modern-day utilities look nothing like they did 20 years ago. While they still provide critical services to homes, businesses and communities, digitalization and decentralization have reshaped the industry from being traditionally cautious to one that’s digitally savvy and open to change.  

Along with addressing ever-evolving regulatory requirements such as NERC CIP to secure a ‘corporate digital identity’. Utilities today must update their organizational structures to keep up with market demands, control costs, and maintain the productivity of an increasingly varied and fluid workforce. Perhaps even more importantly, utilities must take steps to ward off potential cyberattacks to ensure critical infrastructure is always available.  

It’s not a question of “if,” it’s “when” will an attack occur. According to research by Ponemon Institute and Siemens, 54% of utilities expect their operation technology will be attacked within the next year. With 30% of all data breaches at utilities caused by internal actors, effectively managing identity and access to applications and information is absolutely pivotal.  

Relying on manual processes for access management and governance raises the potential for inefficiency, regulatory noncompliance and security risks. Automating identity processes gives utilities the power to increase visibility, generate efficiencies, and improve compliance and security.  

Increase visibility 

SailPoint’s identity platform enables utility organizations to see and control user access, providing answers to three critical questions:  

  • Who has access to what? 
  • Who should have access? 
  • How are they using their access?   

With complete visibility into every digital identity found across the organization, utilities can ensure that only the right people have access to the right information.  

Drive efficiencies 

Manual onboarding simply cannot provide the same efficiency and security for granting access to employees and contractors as an automated platform. Utilities can quickly scale their workforces and reduce the time it takes to give them access to the right applications and information. Then once an employee leaves or a contract expires, access can be quickly terminated.   

Improve compliance  

Through SailPoint’s identity platform, utility organizations can see and control all user access – even to applications and data that are in the cloud, a hybrid environment, or in legacy and proprietary systems. Additionally, policy controls and audit trails reduce the burden on management to demonstrate compliance to auditors.  

Click below to learn more about how you can meet NERC CIP compliance and enhance identity security with SailPoint.