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Most utility leaders today recognize that a cyber breach or system breakdown is inevitable. But rare is the executive who thinks such an event will lead to an organization-threatening crisis—until it does.
Too often, utilities are unprepared to address the many issues created when intruders gain access to critical systems and data. Given that utilities have come to understand that a cyber or physical breach is virtually inevitable, why do so many remain ill prepared to manage the resulting crisis?
Those who bring too little too late typically suffer from two significant shortcomings. Despite a growing realization that a cyber breach can pose serious, broad-based challenges, typical response efforts focus on fixing technical problems. They concentrate on finding and removing the intruders as quickly as possible, while ensuring that the lights remain on with as little disruption as possible.
“Utilities are often unprepared to manage a cyber attack crisis. From operations to legal and PR problems, Booz Allen can help.”
While these activities are vitally important, the impact of a cyber breach can reverberate far beyond a utility’s systems and business operations. Depending upon the intrusion, it also may create a customer problem, a legal problem, an operations problem, a policy problem, a lost revenue problem, and a communications, public relations, regulatory and brand reputation problem.
Utilities must be prepared to manage the wide range of internal and external issues that may arise. If not handled with speed and effectiveness, these problems can destroy a substantial amount of value that took years to build.