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Siemens Shares Incident Response Playbook for Energy Infrastructure

The playbook simulates a cyberattack on the energy industry to educate regulators, utilities, and IT and OT security experts.

Cyberattacks against the energy sector have shifted from targeting information technology (IT) to operational technology (OT) as attackers aim to disrupt critical infrastructure. This change is forcing companies to rethink how they would detect and remove threats without affecting operations.

To offer guidance, Siemens has published "Simulating a Cyberattack on the Energy Industry: A Playbook for Incident Response," which demonstrates the response to a cyberattack on a fictional electric utility that leads to a citywide blackout. The idea is to inform cybersecurity, IT, and OT teams of how they should collaborate and make decisions in a high-stress situation.

More than half (54%) of global utilities anticipate an OT attack within the next 12 months, the Ponemon Institute reports, and 64% say sophisticated attacks are a top challenge. Further, Siemens explains in its whitepaper, OT infrastructure is "significantly more vulnerable" than IT infrastructure, and breaches affecting OT have a more destructive effect on operations.

More than one-third (35%) of utilities have no response plan. This playbook outlines the incident response process: preparation for an attack, identifying a breach, containing damage, removing the threat, enacting recovery, and documenting lessons learned from the incident.

Read more details and view the full playbook here.

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